Student Rights & Responsibilities
The College places an emphasis upon certain core values and personal freedoms which are essential to its nature, mission and purpose as an academic community and institution of higher learning. Members of the College community are entitled to engage in the teaching and learning process undisturbed by violence, harassment, intimidation and bullying. The ability to do so is essential to the orderly pursuit of learning and work of all members of the College community. Students and student organizations may examine and discuss questions of interest to them and may express opinions publicly and privately. They may support causes by orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operations of the College.
It is the responsibility of all students of the College to adhere to the letter and spirit of this statement of student rights and responsibilities, all College policies, rules and regulations and local, state and federal laws. Students shall not violate or attempt to violate any College policy, rule or regulation or any local, state or federal law. It is the responsibility of all students of the College to contribute to an educational atmosphere in which violations of personal rights and freedoms will not be tolerated.
Definition of a Student
For the purpose of this Student Code of Conduct, a student is identified as a person who is currently enrolled as a registered credit student at the College.
Purpose & Scope
- This Student Code of Conduct is adopted for the purpose of providing a precise set of expectations to students and, at the same time, offering the assurance that all students will be accorded fair and reasonable treatment in matters involving alleged or determined violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
- The Student Code of Conduct will apply to any student, student organization or athletic team engaging in activities on the College campus or at any of the College’s off-campus centers and/or satellite campuses (referenced as “College-Related Premises” in this Student Code of Conduct), as well as to any student, student organization or athletic team sponsoring any approved off-campus function or otherwise representing the College in an off-campus setting.
- When a student is convicted of a violation of local, state or federal law, the College will not request special consideration for that person because of his/her status as a student. However, the College will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies and with other agencies in any appropriate program for the rehabilitation of the student to the extent permitted by law and as determined to be in the best interest of the student and College community.
Standards of Conduct
- Student conduct which interferes with the philosophical platform of the College is not acceptable.
- Any person who enrolls at the College can expect that the faculty and administration will exercise the authority of the College to regulate student conduct whenever the educational process, the health and welfare of the student body as a whole, and/or the property of the College are judged to be jeopardized by the action of any student or group of students.
- Harassment, intimidation and bullying of any person are prohibited. Harassment, intimidation or bullying includes any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by another distinguishing characteristic that takes place on College property or College-Related Premises or at any function sponsored by the College, that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the College or the rights of other students and that:
a. a reasonable person will know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property; or
b. has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or
c. creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student’s education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.
Process & Disciplinary Procedure
It has been recognized that due process in higher education disciplinary matters need not parallel the requirements of due process in a court of law. The College will attempt to handle disciplinary matters privately, informally and expeditiously before resorting to formalized procedures or the referral to outside agencies. However, the College will ensure that the basic protections of due process will be implemented when students of the College are charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct.
The protections afforded every student are:
- Any student, faculty or staff member may file a complaint alleging a violation of this Student Code of Conduct.
- Written notification of the charge(s) against a student and possible penalties within a reasonable time period.
- The opportunity to have a discussion with the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance to clarify the evidence and/or review of an incident before an initial determination is made by the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance.
- The opportunity to have a discussion with the Director of Student conduct and Compliance with respect to major offenses, as defined in the Student Code of Conduct or to waive the rights to a hearing and accept the sanctions and/or penalties imposed by the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance or other authority of the College.
- Written notification of the time, place and date of the hearing at least three (3) business days in advance of the hearing.
- The opportunity to present evidence and witnesses.
- Written notification of the findings of the Student Conduct Committee, which findings shall be based upon a preponderance of evidence presented verbally and/or in writing.
- Written notification of the sanctions and/or penalties to be imposed.
- Written notification of the appeal process.
The acts identified below, when committed by any student and/or student organization, shall be considered violations of the Student Code of Conduct. These violations may be determined to be minor or major offenses at the discretion of the Director of StudentConduct and Compliance. The listing of acts constituting violations of this Student Code of Conduct set forth below is not intended to be an exhaustive or limited definition of what the College deems to be violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The listing is intended to provide students with guidance. The determination as to an alleged violation of Student Code of Conduct will be left to the sole discretion of the College and will be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Engagement in behavior which in any way interferes with, disrupts and/or obstructs the teaching and learning process, including without limitation: research, administration, implementation of discipline procedures or other College authorized activities. Interference with, obstruction or disruption of teaching and learning process shall include, but not be limited to: tardiness; offensive language or behavior; disrespect to College instructors, visiting instructors, professors and/or visiting professors; and/or noise and improper use of personal communication devices (e.g., cell phones headphones, pagers, palm pilots, and/or laptops).
- Harassment, intimidation or bullying of any person as defined above.
- Disregard for the property and rights of others including the right to be free from verbal abuse or harassment.
- Engagement in any abusive or demeaning conduct or obscene gestures directed toward another individual or group of individuals which has the effect of creating a hostile educational environment or impedes the rights or privileges of other members of the College community.
- Physical abuse or threats against any person or persons, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health, safety or welfare of another person or persons.
- Theft, larceny, embezzlement, fraud or the temporary taking of the property of another, including, but not limited to, books and computers or other electronic devices, without permission, or possession of stolen goods.
- Unauthorized occupation, unauthorized entry or unauthorized use of any College-related facility or College-related premises.
- Unauthorized use, possession and/or brandishing on the College campus or College-related premises of firearms, replicas of firearms, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, other dangerous substances or materials or weapons.
- Manufacture, sale, possession or use of any scheduled drug, such as narcotics, barbiturates, central nervous system stimulants, marijuana, sedatives, tranquilizers, hallucinogens, or other drugs or chemicals in violation of law.
- Vandalism, malicious destruction, damage, defacing, or misuse of College property, private property, including library materials and all computers.
- Obstructing or restraining the passage of any person at an exit or entrance to the College campus or College-related premises, or preventing or attempting to prevent by force or violence or by threats of force or violence, the entrance or exit of any person to or from the College campus and/or College-related premises without the authorization of the administration of the College.
- Setting a fire on the College campus and/or College-related premises without proper authority.
- Inappropriate use of any combustible or chemical or flammable substance which may present a fire hazard, annoyance, threat, or danger to property or any person on the College premises or College-related premises.
- Falsification, alteration or withholding of information related to academic records and/or documents.
- Furnishing false information to a College employee with intent to deceive.
- Failure to meet any College-related financial obligations.
- Unauthorized use, possession and/or alteration of firefighting equipment, safety devices, College Police property, and/or other emergency or safety equipment.
- Intentional making of a false report of a bomb, fire or other emergency in any building, structure, or facility on College premises or College-related premises by means of activating a fire alarm or in any other manner.
- Disorderly conduct, including rioting, inciting to riot or assembly to riot.
- Participating in any and all forms and/or acts of hazing.
- Failure to present student identification to a College employee, including without limitation, officials, administrators, faculty members, support staff members and/or police officers in response to a request. The required form of identification shall be a current and validated College issued identification card, driver’s license, military identification card, county photo identification card, and/or passport.
- Failure to comply with the directives of a College employee, including without limitation, officials, administrators, faculty members, support staff members and/or police officers acting in the performance of their duties.
- Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages in any form on College premises or College-related premises, except in those areas of the College premises or College-related premises where the President or his/her designee has authorized the serving of alcoholic beverages, subject to prescribed regulations and federal and state law.
- Violation of any published policies, rules or regulations promulgated by an official College office, including without limitation, campus motor vehicle laws and regulations or the Tobacco-Free Institution Policy.
- Interference with the performance of the duties of any College employee, including without limitation, officials, administrators, faculty members, support staff and/or police officers.
- Failure of a student to respond to written communication from a College official in connection with an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Malfeasance in or misuse of membership in a student organization or on an athletic team which is injurious to the welfare or the College, any of its employees, students or student organizations or athletic teams.
- Failure to abide by, or violation of, any sanction imposed by the Vice President of Student Success, the Vice President for Learning, the President and/or Board of Trustees.
- Engagement in any form of gambling while on College premises or College-related premises or at functions sponsored by the College in any location.
- Misrepresentation of oneself, a student organization or an athletic team to be an agent of the College.
- Accessing, modifying and/or transferring electronic data system software or computing facilities without proper authorization.
- Using or misusing the College’s name, logo or seal for soliciting funds, sponsoring activities or on printed matter without the express written approval of the proper College authority.
- Violating the terms of any disciplinary sanction and/or penalty imposed in accordance with this Student Code of Conduct.
- Violating existing local, state or federal law on the College campus or College-related premises or off-campus when such violation adversely affects the College.
Sanctions & Penalties
The sanctions and penalties set forth below may be applied either singularly or in any combination as appropriate to the circumstances of each case. Any of these sanctions or penalties may be imposed on a student who engages in harassment, intimidation or bullying in violation of this Student Code of Conduct.
- Verbal Reprimand: Verbal admonition against further violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Written Reprimand: Written warning place in student’s file for having violated the Student Code of Conduct.
- Restitution: The obligation to replace or pay for property damaged to compensate for losses incurred or to provide a campus service as a result of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Conditional Probation: Temporary loss of College rights and privileges until specified conditions are met, such as submission of letters of apology and/or doctor’s releases, etc.
- Disciplinary Probation:Loss of participation in the College-related activities for a specified period of time. Disciplinary Probation may also entail the satisfaction of certain enumerated conditions in order for a student to be removed from probation.
- Fine: Monetary sum imposed as a penalty for an offense.
- Community Service: Assigned community service work to fit a particular violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Suspension: Exclusion from all or specified classes and other College-related activities for a specified period of time.
- Expulsion: Permanent dismissal from all classes and College-related activities.
- Summary (Temporary) Suspension: Exclusion from all or specified classes and other College-related activities until due process procedures are completed. This sanction may be imposed by the Vice President of Student Success in the event of a threat of safety to the student or College community or if a student refuses to respond to a summons to appear before the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance or his/her designee.
- Initial Action: Any individual student, group of students and/or student organization violating this Student Code of Conduct will be referred to the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance for disciplinary measures in accordance with the provisions of this Student Code of Conduct.
- Minor Offenses: In the case of all offenses deemed by the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance not to constitute acts which would result in a suspension or expulsion of the student(s), the Director may determine disciplinary actions as stated in paragraphs “1” through “7” of the Sanctions and Penalties section of this Student Code of Conduct above. These offenses shall be deemed “minor offenses.” The Director will investigate allegations of an incident and advise the student of the charges against him/her; hear the student’s comments about the incident violating the this Student Code of Conduct, notify the student of the allegations regarding the incident and advise the student of the charges against him/her; hear the student’s comments about the incident, when possible; make a determination about whether or not, if true, the allegations constitute a minor offense and, if so, the penalty or sanction to be imposed; notify the student of that determination within a reasonable period of time and notify the student of the appeal procedures when appropriate. Any student may appeal a determination with respect to a minor offense as stated in paragraph “1” of the Appeals Section of this Student Code of Conduct, below.
a. The Student Conduct Board will be convened to hear all cases which could result in suspension or expulsion. The Student Conduct Board will be composed of three (3) students and two (2) representatives of the College faculty and staff appointed by the Vice President of Student Success or designee. A training program for potential Student Conduct Board members will be held each fall.
b. In such cases, the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance or his/her designee, acting as a nonvoting member of the Student Conduct Board, will arrange with the student charged with violation of the Student Code of Conduct the time and place of the hearing before the Student Conduct Board, which said notice will advise the student of the charges against him/her; the student’s right to question witnesses against him/her; the student’s right to produce witnesses on his/her behalf; and the student’s right to select counsel of his/her own choosing. Counsel will be allowed to advise the student or students charged with violation of the Student Code of Conduct, but will not be permitted to speak and/or examine witnesses at the hearing. Other College students, faculty and staff may attend the hearing only upon the invitation of the Director or Student Conduct and Compliance or if they are presented as a witness by the student whose conduct is the subject of the hearing. The Student Conduct Board will be convened to consider the alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct as soon as possible in proximity to the time of the alleged incident.
c. The Director of Student Conduct and Compliance or his/her designee will present all charges against the student at the hearing before the Student Conduct Board.
d. The Director of Student Services or the College Officer of the Day will assume the role of the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance as stated in this Student Code of Conduct if there exists a specific conflict of interest for the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance in any pending case.
e. At the hearing, the Student Conduct Board will hear the charges against the student and hear the statements of witnesses for and against the student and may question the witnesses. The Student Conduct Board will conduct a hearing about alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct by more than one (1) student in the same case and/or pertaining to the same incident at one hearing.
f. Upon conclusion of the hearing and after deliberation based upon the preponderance of evidence presented at the hearing, both in writing and through verbal testimony, the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance will notify the student charged of the decision of the Student Conduct Board within 24-hours of receiving the decision of the Student Conduct Board.
g. A taped or digitally recorded record of all Student Conduct Board hearings shall be made. The record shall be retained by the College in accordance with College policy and regulation and relevant federal and state law.
h. Violations determined to have occurred and penalties imposed may be publicized in the College newspaper without mention of or alluding to the names of the persons involved in the incident resulting in a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Any student or faculty or staff member may appeal a decision of the Director of Student Conduct and Compliance or Student Conduct Board by notice in writing filed with the Vice President of Student Success within five (5) working days after notice of the Student Conduct Board decision.
- The Vice President of Student Success, upon the filing of such appeal, will review the proceeding in the matter and: (a) affirm the decision of the Student Conduct Board; (b) revise the decision of the Board; or (c) convene an appeal committee.
- In the event the Vice President of Student Success affirms the decision of the Student Conduct Board, the Dean will advise the student in writing within three (3) working days of the decision.
- If the event the Vice President of Student Success on any appeal filed with him/her determines to convene an appeal committee, the following procedure will be followed:
a. The Vice President of Student Success will appoint an appeal committee consisting of three (3) students and two (2) representatives of the College faculty and staff.
b. The Vice President of Student Success will convene such appeals committee, give notice to the student appellant of the time and place of the meeting of the appeals committee to hear the appeal, and will preside over the appeal hearing.
c. The appeal committee, after hearing the matter, may take any of the following actions:
(1) Affirm the decision of the Student Conduct Board;
(2) Revise decision of the Student Conduct Board; or
(3) Render a new decision.
d. The Vice President of Student Success will advise the student in writing of the decision of the appeal committee within one (1) working day of the appeals committee’s rendering of its decision.
Suspension of a student may be imposed with the Student Conduct Board has determined that a Major Offense has occurred or when the conditions of disciplinary probation are disregarded. Suspension is imposed only on the basis of the recommendation of the Student Conduct Board and with the approval of the Vice President of Student Success. Suspension is applied for a given period of time, and the term is specified to the student.
A student suspended from the College forfeits all rights and privileges of a student, including participation in all College-related or College sponsored functions. All suspension actions will be noted in the student’s College record.
Any student may be summarily suspended by the Vice President of Student Success or the College Officer of the Day for a period not to exceed ten (10) College working days pending a hearing before the Student Conduct Board.
In the event of any appeal of the Student Conduct Board decision, the Vice President of Student Success or the Officer of the Day may suspend the student or continue any previous suspensions pending the disposition of the appeal.
Expulsion of a student from the College may be imposed in situations in which Major Offenses of this Student Code of Conduct have occurred or when a series of suspensions have been issued to a student without sufficient improvement in the student’s conduct. Expulsion may be recommended by the Vice President of Student Success.
Any expulsion imposed on a student for violation of this Student Code of Conduct at all times will be subject to the approval the College President. Nothing in this Student Code of Conduct will be deemed to limit the final authority of the President of the College in all matters relating to violations of this Student Code of Conduct and the impositions of the aforementioned sanctions and/or penalties.