Code of Conduct
ATTENTION: COVID-19 UPDATE [Updated March 30, 2020]
Bristol Community College Code of Conduct Modifications to Conducting Investigations/Adjudications in support of Social Distancing
In order to help protect the safety of students and college personnel from the novel coronavirus and COVID19 outbreak, Bristol Community College is following the guidelines established by both the Federal and State government as well as public health leaders. Those guidelines recommend the practice of social distancing whereby in-person interactions on its campus and at all locations are limited. In accordance with these recommendations, all investigations will be done using remote and/or virtual modalities.
Therefore, we are temporarily modifying certain policies and procedures to our student conduct and investigations process that are not currently reflected in our Code of Conduct Policy. The purpose of this is to allow Bristol Community College and our students the opportunity to move forward with the fair process in a more efficient and safer manner.
Those involved in the adjudication of conduct investigations will be required to sign a waiver that allows the College to proceed with interviews and meetings via telephone and/or virtual means. Investigations requiring in-person meetings will generally be postponed until further notice.
For concerns involving possible Student Code of Conduct violations, contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at 774.357.2150, or submit Bristol Community College - Student Conduct Referral Form HERE.
STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Bristol Community College expects students to conduct themselves in a manner that is appropriate to a collegiate environment. Students are expected to assume responsibility for their own behavior and learning and to respect the learning environment of others. Bristol Community College strives to maintain a learning environment that enhances the academic, intellectual, cultural, and social enrichment of its students, faculty, staff, and the community at large. To ensure that no member of the College community is deprived of this collegiate environment, student rights and responsibilities are clearly stated and behavior and discipline codes have been established.
- The right to pursue their education and assistance in overcoming educational, cultural, emotional, and economic disadvantages that create challenges to the educational process.
- The right to fair and equal treatment without discrimination based on a student’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information, maternity leave, military service, and national origin.
- The right to privacy and confidentiality under the Family Education Right and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99.
- The right to procedural and substantive due process in disciplinary or grievance matters.
- To be knowledgeable of and to comply with federal, state, and local laws, and ordinances.
- To be knowledgeable of and to comply with all directives, policies, and procedures of Bristol Community College.
- To choose behavior that does not interfere with the learning environment of others inside and outside of the classroom, including College events.
- To review all information that is shared with students in official college communications.
Section 1: Introduction
The Code of Conduct was created with the goal of fostering an environment that ensures student learning and open access to higher education. All students are responsible for following the policies in the Code.
Section 2: Philosophy & Learning Outcomes
The Code of Conduct process is intended to be an educational process that supports the mission of the College. The Code is intended to encourage personal responsibility, integrity, and ethical decision-making.
Students who participate in this process should achieve the following learning outcomes:
- Understand how the Code supports the goals and mission of the College;
- Understand the possible impact of their choices on their academic and personal success;
- Accept personal responsibility for the choices and decisions made and the impact of their behavior on the College community;
- Reflect on their ethical obligations as a student in the College community;
- Recognize the value of the student conduct process as an educational opportunity; and
- Identify ways to address their behavior so it does not negatively impact their educational goals or the community in the future.
Section 3: Application of the Code of Conduct
Students are provided a copy of the Student Code of Conduct annually in the form of a link on the College website. Hard copies are available upon request from the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs. A link to the Code will also be included in all communications with any students involved in the conduct process, regardless of their role in the situation. Students are responsible for reading and following the policy.
The Code of Conduct shall be used to address student behavior as referenced in this policy. The Code of Conduct applies to the conduct of individual students and College-affiliated student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, the Code defines a student as an individual who:
- has been issued a student identification number; or
- has received an offer of admission; or
- is enrolled in courses, whether full-time or part-time, credit or non-credit; or
- is participating in a non-degree, dual enrollment, or early college program; or
- is not currently enrolled but has a continuing educational relationship with the College.
The College retains conduct jurisdiction over students who choose to take a leave of absence, withdraw, or have graduated for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal, or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll, obtain official transcripts, and/or graduate and all sanctions must be completed prior to re-enrollment eligibility.
The Student Code of Conduct applies to behaviors that take place at the College; in any of its facilities; on any of its grounds, partner sites, or program centers; or at any College-related activity regardless of location.
The College reserves the right to take action for off-campus student behavior when such behavior adversely affects the College community, poses a threat to the health or safety the College community; interferes with the College’s pursuit of its objectives and mission, and/or if a student is charged with violating state or federal law. Proceedings under this Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
The Student Code of Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online or electronically via email, social media, or other electronic formats.
Section 4: Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence
Claims of discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence, including Title IX offenses, such as rape, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence and stalking, shall be addressed under the College’s Policy on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, and Diversity by the College’s Affirmative Action Official and/or Title IX Coordinator.
For more information, please contact College’s Diversity & Title IX Officer Gia Sanchez. She may be contacted by telephone at 774-357-2264 or email correspondence at Gia.Sanchez@Bristolcc.edu. If Ms. Sanchez is unavailable, the Human Resources office may be contacted by telephone at 774-357-2195 or email correspondence at diversitytitleIX@bristolcc.edu.
Section 5: Definitions
A. Administrative Resolution
A resolution of a complaint, which is mutually agreed upon by the CCA and the Student. An Administrative Resolution shall be put in writing by the CCA, signed by the CCA and the Student and maintained in a student’s disciplinary file. An Administrative Resolution shall result in a Student waiving their right to a Student Conduct Board hearing or Appeal.
B. Appeals Officer
The College’s designated administrator responsible for reviewing appeals. In cases of academic dishonesty, the Appeals Officer shall be the College’s senior academic officer or designee.
C. Code of Conduct Administrator (CCA)
The College official charged with the responsibility of administering the College’s Student Code of Conduct. A member of the Massachusetts Community College Council (MCCC) shall not be selected to serve as the CCA.
D. College Official
Any person employed or contracted by the College to perform administrative, instructional, or professional duties.
E. College Property
Includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the College, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.
An allegation of a violation of the Code of Conduct, which is filed with or by the CCA.
Shall mean a calendar day. The number of days indicated at each level shall be considered as a maximum. All reasonable efforts shall be made to expedite the process, but the CCA may extend the time limits at their discretion with notice to both parties in writing, including for inclement weather and/or College closures.
The final determination of responsibility in the student conduct process. An outcome may either be “responsible” or “not responsible.”
An obligation that a student or student organization must abide by or complete when found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct. Sanctions are not required to be imposed progressively but are based on the severity and/or frequency of the violation.
Sanctions under this policy shall include, but are not limited to:
- Written Warning - An official written notice to a student their conduct is in violation of College rules or regulations.
- Restrictions/Loss of Privileges – Restriction or loss of privileges as a student for a specified period of time, including but not limited to: attending College classes, events and/or activities; accessing College property or specifically designated areas; or participating in College organizations.
- Educational Sanction – A project or developmental activity imposed with the goal of educating the student about personal responsibility and/or the impacts of their behavior.
- Restitution - The assessment of financial charges or other forms of reimbursement for any damage or loss incurred by the College or any members of the College community.
- Probation – A student’s status at the College is in jeopardy due to one or more violations of the Code of Conduct. Probation is a more severe sanction than a written warning. Unless expressly authorized by the CCA, a student on probation may not represent the College in any capacity. Examples include but are not limited to: running for or holding office in any student organizations; participating in intercollegiate athletic teams, intramural programs, any student clubs or organizations; representing the college in community service projects; participating in paid or unpaid internship programs or study abroad programs.
- Suspension – Separation from the College or a program, without financial reimbursement, for a specified period of time not to exceed three academic years. Conditions for readmission may be specified, including a reinstatement review and meeting with the CCA to demonstrate that the student is prepared to return to the college environment and abide by the expectations of behavior outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. During the suspension period, the student may not register or participate in classes, use College communication systems such as e-mail, or enter College property and loses all privileges to participate in any College functions, events, or activities without prior written approval from the CCA. Any suspension may be deferred for a designated period of time, not to exceed one (1) semester. Deferred suspension will be utilized in unique circumstances where deferring the suspension would be in the best interest of the student as determined by the CCA. A student on deferred suspension who is found responsible for an additional violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be issued additional sanctions, up to and including Expulsion.
- Expulsion – Permanent separation from the College or a program without financial reimbursement. An expelled student may not be readmitted to the College or a program and a notation of expulsion from the College shall be placed on the student’s official College transcript.
J. Standard of Proof: Preponderance of Evidence
The standard used in resolving a complaint filed under this Code’s Disciplinary Process. The standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true (i.e.; more probable than not). Effectively, the standard is satisfied if there is greater than 50 percent chance that the proposition is true.
The individual whose behavior may have violated the Code of Conduct, including any individual who:
- has been issued a student identification number; or
- has received an offer of admission; or
- is enrolled in courses, whether full-time or part-time, credit or non-credit; or
- is participating in a non-degree, dual enrollment, or early college program; or
- is not currently enrolled but has a continuing educational relationship with the College.
L. Student Conduct File
The printed/written/electronic file, which may include, but is not limited to, investigatory materials, incident report(s), correspondence, witness statements, and student conduct history.
M. Student Organization
An association or group of persons, including, but not limited to, any recognized student club, organization, or team.
N. Student Conduct Board
Members of the College community selected and trained by the CCA to conduct a hearing when an Administrative Resolution cannot be agreed upon by the student and the CCA or at the request of the student. Members of the Student Conduct Board shall not have any conflict of interest and are required to act in a fair and impartial manner.
O. Substantial Disruption or Interference
Substantial disruption or interference includes conduct: (1) that impedes the regular and essential operations of the College; or (2) where the expressive rights of another are so disrupted or interfered with that they effectively cannot exercise their rights to engage in or listen to expressive activities. Determining what constitutes a “substantial disruption or interference” is decided on a case-by-case basis. Examples include, but are not limited to: shouting down a speaker; disrupting a faculty member’s instruction such that it impedes the learning process; failure to comply with a College Official’s appropriate directives or instructions; threats of harm; harassing conduct; fights or violent behavior; blocking access to or from any College facilities, events or services; or conduct that places health or safety at risk. Substantial disruption or interference does not include conduct that is protected under the First Amendment.
Section 6: Violations of the Law
Alleged violations of federal, state, and local laws may be reviewed and addressed under the Code. When an offense occurs over which the College has jurisdiction, the College conduct process will go forward regardless of any civil or criminal complaint or process that may arise from the same incident.
The College reserves the right to exercise its authority of interim suspension upon notification that a student is facing a criminal investigation (see Section 8D).
Section 7: Expectations of Behavior
A. Core Values and Behavioral Expectations
As a public institution of higher education, which is committed to student access and success, the College maintains the following Core Values and Behavioral Expectations of its students.
- Integrity. All students are expected to exemplify honesty, honor, and a respect for the truth in all of their dealings.
- Community. Students are expected to positively contribute to the educational community.
- Safety. Students are expected to choose behavior that is conscious of the rights and safety of others and the community and promotes a productive and diverse academic environment.
- Responsibility. Students are expected to accept responsibility to themselves, to others, and to the community.
B. Code of Conduct Charges
The College considers the following behaviors as inappropriate for the College community and in opposition to its core values and behavioral expectations. These expectations apply to all students. The College encourages community members to report all incidents of such behavior. Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit any of the following misconduct is subject to the sanctions outlined under this policy.
1. Abuse of Conduct Process
Abuse, interference, and/or failure to comply with the College’s conduct process, including but not limited to:
1. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information during the conduct process;
2. Failure to provide, destroying, or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;
3. Interference with the orderly conduct of the conduct process;
4. Attempting to discourage an individual's participation in, or use of, the conduct process;
5. Attempting to influence the decision of a member of a Conduct Board prior to, and/or during the course of, the Student Conduct proceeding;
6. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a Conduct Board, College official, party to a complaint or witness participating in the conduct process;
7. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Code of Conduct;
8. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the conduct process; or
9. Knowingly filing a false complaint under the Code of Conduct.
2. Academic Dishonesty
Acts of academic dishonesty, inlcuding but not limited to the following:
1. Cheating. Intentional use, and/or attempted use of any unauthorized assistance in any academic exercise including dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor.
2. Fabrication. Intentional and unauthorized falsification and/or invention or any information or citation in any academic exercise.
3. Plagiarism. Knowingly representing the words, ideas, or artistic expression of another as one’s own work in any academic exercise, including but not limited to submitting previously-submitted assignments for which the student has earned credit, copying or purchasing other’s work, patchworking source material and representing the work as one’s own, or arranging for others to do work under a false name.
4. Submitting, in whole or in part, prewritten term papers of another or the research of another, including but not limited to commercial vendors who sell or distribute such material.
5. Theft of materials. The acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the faculty or staff, or another student.
Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, on campus or as part of any college-sponsored program, including public intoxication or the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, in violation of the College’s Alcohol Policy and/or state or federal law.
4. Controlled Substances
Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances as defined by state and federal law.
5. Damage and Destruction
Damage, destruction, or defacement of College property or the personal property of others.
6. Election Tampering
Tampering with the election of any College-recognized student organization.
Threat or the implicit threat of harm to a person's safety, reputation, or property in order to obtain property, including information, from someone else without their consent.
8. Failure to Comply
Failure to comply with the reasonable directives of College officials and/or law enforcement during the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
9. False Reports of Danger
False reporting of fire, bombs, other dangerous devices, or emergency situations.
Knowingly providing or possessing false, falsified, or forged materials, documents, accounts, records, identification, or financial instruments.
11. Fire Safety
Violation of local, state, or federal laws, or campus fire policies including, but not limited, to:
1. Causing a fire on College property;
2. Failure to evacuate a College-controlled building during a fire alarm;
3. Improper use of College fire safety equipment; or
4. Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment while on College property.
Gambling as prohibited by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Gambling may include lotteries, sports pools, and online betting activities.
Severe or pervasive actions, including, but not limited to written, electronic, voice, physical, or through third party, directed toward a specific individual, group or entity with the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another’s work or education by creating an objectively hostile environment.
14. Harm to Others
Causing physical harm or endangering the health or safety of any person.
15. Hate Crimes
A hate crime as defined by state or federal laws, including but not limited to any criminal act to which a bias motive is evident as a contributing factor.
Hazing as defined by state or federal laws, including but not limited to any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. For additional information, consult the Hazing Policy.
17. Interference with College Environment
Substantial interference or disruption to the day-to-day functions of the academic or administrative environment.
18. IT and Acceptable Use
Conduct resulting in a violation of the College’s Computer/Technology Acceptable Use policies, Email and Social Media policies and/or related Information Technology Resource policies.
Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of marijuana and marijuana products or accessories on campus or as part of any college-sponsored program, including the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in violation of the College’s Marijuana Policy.
20. Prescription Medication
Abuse, misuse, sale, or distribution of prescription or over-the-counter medications.
21. Public Exposure
Includes but not limited to: deliberately and publicly exposing one’s intimate body parts, public urination, defecation, masturbation, and/or other public sex acts.
Engaging in, or inciting others to engage in, harmful or destructive behavior that breaches the peace.
23. Smoking & Tobacco
Smoking or using any tobacco product or use of e-cigarettes, vaporizers or inhalers on College property.
24. Solicitation and Sales
Unauthorized solicitation and sales, requesting contributions, peddling or otherwise selling, purchasing or offering goods and services for sale or purchase, distributing advertising materials, circulars or product samples, or engaging in any other conduct relating to any outside business interest or for-profit or personal or professional economic benefit on college property or using college resources.
25. Taking of Property
Intentional and unauthorized taking or possession of College property or the personal property of another, whether actual or attempted, including goods, services, and other valuables.
26. Threatening Behaviors.
Threat. Written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property.
Intimidation. Intimidation defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another.
Unauthorized use, including misuse, of College or organizational names and/or images.
28. Unauthorized Access and/or Entry
Unauthorized access and/or entry to any College building (e.g., misuse of keys or access privileges), unauthorized possession, duplication or use of means of access to any college building, or unauthorized entry including trespassing.
29. Unauthorized Recording and Dissemination
Use of electronic or other devices to create and/or disseminate an unauthorized audio or video recording of any person(s) without the person’s prior knowledge or without the person’s effective consent due to intoxication, drug use, mental impairment or other conditions that may impair a person’s ability to convey effective consent. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a locker room or restroom and recording classroom or administrative activities without the person’s consent.
30. Violations of Law
Including arrest, pending criminal charges, or adjudication of any violation of state or federal laws not otherwise enumerated herein.
Possession of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other dangerous weapon in violation of state or federal law, including M.G.L. Chapter 269, Section 10(J), or possession of a reasonable facsimile, simulated or prop firearm or weapon. For additional information, consult the College’s Prohibition of Weapons Policy.
32. Other Policies
Violation of any College policies, rules, or regulations published in written copy or available electronically on the College’s website.
Section 8: Student Conduct Procedures
A. Discipline for Conduct that Interferes with the College Environment
Interfering in the educational process in a class (or clinical site), is prohibited under this policy. If a student engages in conduct that interferes with the college environment, a faculty member or other College employee may address and resolve the matter informally without filing a complaint under the Code, including temporarily removing the student from a class (or clinical site). On the first occasion when a student is removed, the faculty member or other College employee is strongly encouraged to notify the CCA. In all subsequent cases of removing the same student from a class (or clinical site), the faculty member or other College employee shall notify the CCA. A faculty member or other College employee may seek assistance from Public Safety if necessary, to remove a student. A student may not be permanently removed from a class (or clinical site) for a conduct-related offense except upon referral to the CCA of a complaint for administration under this policy. The CCA can exercise their discretion to allow the accused student to attend class (or clinical site) during the disciplinary process upon consultation with the faculty member and the Chief Academic Officer or their designee.
B. Discipline for Academic Dishonesty
This policy recognizes the right of faculty to manage their class, including addressing directly with students issues of academic dishonesty. When there is information that academic dishonesty occurred, a faculty member may choose to take action as outlined in the course syllabus, including issuing a failing grade for the assignment or the course. Faculty are encouraged to share that information with the CCA. If the CAA is aware of more than one incident of academic dishonesty by this student, in addition to the issuance of a failing grade by the faculty member, the student may be subject to disciplinary action under this policy. If the student believes that there is substantial evidence of error or injustice associated with a failing grade issued because of academic dishonesty, the student may file a grievance under the Student Grievance Procedure’s Grade Appeal Process.
Where the issuance of a failing grade by a faculty member for academic dishonesty will result in a student’s dismissal from a program (for example in nursing and other health care programs), the charge of academic dishonesty shall be directly referred to the CCA for administration under this policy, which shall be completed, where practicable, within thirty (30) days.
C. Discipline for Off-Campus Behavior
The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action against a student for off-campus conduct when such conduct adversely affects the College community, poses a threat to the health or safety to the College community; interferes with the College’s pursuit of its objectives and mission, and/or if a student is charged with violating state or federal law. Proceedings under this Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
D. Interim Measures
Under certain circumstances during the Code of Conduct process interim measures may be imposed by the CCA including, but not limited to: no-contact orders, restriction/loss of privileges or interim suspension.
The College reserves the right to issue an interim suspension when it reasonably concludes that a student:
- Poses a threat to others;
- Poses a threat to College property or equipment;
- Substantially disrupts or interferes with the normal operations of the College;
- Engages in off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College community; and/or
- Is arrested and/or charged with a crime in violation of state or federal law.
During an interim suspension, a student is prohibited from entering upon any College property and participating in any College activities until the complaint has been resolved through the Code of Conduct process. Where reasonably practical, within ten (10) days of the issuance of the interim suspension, the CAA shall meet with the Student to determine whether to continue or revoke the interim measure during the conduct process. A student shall be notified in writing of any determination made at that meeting.
E. Group Violations
A student group or organization and its officers and membership may be held collectively and individually responsible for violations of the Code to the same extent as any individual would be.
Investigations involving student groups or organizations follow the same student conduct procedures. In any such action, individual determinations as to responsibility will be made and sanctions may be assigned collectively and individually and will be proportionate to the involvement of each individual.
The health and safety of every student at the College is of the utmost importance. The College recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs may be hesitant to report violations of the Code due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. The College strongly encourages students to report violations to the CCA. A reporting individual acting in good faith that reports a violation of the Code will not be subject to disciplinary action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the Code violation, provided that they did not harm or place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may require an educational conference and/or a behavioral plan for an individual who has engaged in the illegal or prohibited use of alcohol or drugs.
G. Complaint of Alleged Violation
Any person may allege a policy violation by any student for misconduct under this code by completing the report available here: Bristol Community College - Student Conduct Referral Form.
The CAA may act on a complaint of a potential violation whether a formal complaint form is completed or not. All allegations can be submitted by a victim or third party, and should be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days, after the offending event occurs. The CAA may elect to pursue action under the Code for violations reported after thirty (30) days where the behavior posed or may continue to pose a danger to the health or safety of others. The College has the right to pursue an allegation or complaint of misconduct on its own behalf.
Section 9: Formal Student Conduct Process
Conduct Related Precautions Being Taken Against COVID-19
As some students return to Bristol Community College locations in the midst of a pandemic there are expectations on shared principles and daily actions that reflect guidelines from public health experts and agencies that allow us to create a healthy, safe environment.
Within those expectations is that students, faculty, and staff commit to a clear set of behavioral, health, and safety requirements that protect individuals and the Bristol community. In addition, the college has developed a holistic safety, cleaning, and hygiene protocol plan for its campuses and buildings.
In addition to regular communication being shared with the college community, signage will be posted across all college locations to encourage and reinforce the message of personal responsibility to protect everyone’s health and safety. Please follow the expectations displayed on these signs and encourage others to do so as well.
Please take care to understand and follow the protocols, guidelines, and policies listed in this section.
Violations of protocols, guidelines, or policies outlined here, unless otherwise noted, will be reported to Campus Police and the Student Code of Conduct Administrator for follow up.
Please view these four (4) videos on personal protection and hygiene:
- General Coronavirus Training (Precautions & Preventative Measures
- Help Prevent COVID-19 with Social Distancing
- How to Wear a Mask
- How to Wash Your Hands Properly
Click the following links for more valuable information:
You may access a flow chart of the process here: Bristol CC Code of Conduct Flow Chart.
This policy is not intended to prevent members of the College community from attempting to resolve matters informally. Failure to cooperate with the College’s investigation of an alleged Code of Conduct violation, including failing to appear for an Administrative Resolution meeting or a Student Conduct Board Hearing will result in discipline of the Student by the CCA and a forfeiture of their rights to a hearing or appeal.
A. Step 1: Initiation of Student Conduct Process
The Student Conduct Process is initiated once a complaint of an alleged violation is received by the CCA. A complaint is defined as an allegation of a violation of the Code of Conduct, which is filed with or by the CCA. The CAA may act on a complaint of a potential violation whether a formal complaint form is completed or not.
B. Step 2: Preliminary Inquiry
When the CCA files or receives a complaint alleging that a student has acted in a manner which may be in violation of the Code, the CCA may conduct a preliminary inquiry into the nature of the complaint, the evidence available, and the parties involved. The preliminary inquiry may lead to:
- A determination that there is insufficient evidence to pursue the investigation because the behavior alleged, even if proven, would not violate the Code and therefore the process ends; or
- A determination that the alleged behavior constitutes a possible violation of the Code, resulting in a request to schedule an Administrative Resolution meeting with the CCA within five (5) days; or
- Further investigation is needed to make a determination.
C. Step 3: Administrative Resolution
After a Preliminary Inquiry, or when a Preliminary Inquiry is not necessary as determined by the CCA, the CCA will meet with the Student to review the complaint, and provide the Student an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
The Student has the right to be accompanied by any advisor of their own choosing and at their own expense. The advisor may be another student, faculty member, administrator, or an attorney. An advisor’s role is limited to advising the Student directly and discretely. An advisor is not otherwise permitted to participate directly in the meeting.
The possible outcomes of an Administrative Resolution meeting include:
- A decision not to pursue the complaint based on insufficient information. The matter should be closed and the records should so indicate;
- The Student and the CCA reach a mutually agreed upon resolution to the complaint; or
- If no mutually agreed upon resolution is reached, the complaint is referral to a Student Conduct Board Hearing.
Under certain circumstances during the Code of Conduct process, interim measures may be imposed by the CCA including, but not limited to: no-contact orders, restriction/loss of privileges, or interim suspension, in a manner consistent with this Code.
An Administrative Resolution is reached only upon the mutual agreement of the CCA and the Student. By accepting an Administrative Resolution, the Student waives their right to a hearing before the Student Conduct Board or an appeal. An Administrative Resolution shall be put in writing by the CCA, copied to the Student and maintained in a Student’s disciplinary file. If the CCA and the Student cannot agree on an Administrative Resolution the matter proceeds to a Student Conduct Board hearing.
Failure by the Student to appear for an Administrative Resolution meeting with the CCA will result in discipline of the Student by the CCA and a forfeiture of their rights to a hearing or appeal.
D. Step 4: Student Conduct Board Hearing
A hearing with the Student Conduct Board shall be scheduled by the CCA not later than thirty (30) days following a Student’s request for a hearing. If no hearing is requested, the hearing shall be scheduled by the CCA no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the Administrative Resolution meeting.
A written Statement of Charges shall be presented to the Student not less than five (5) days prior to the hearing. The Statement of Charges shall include a summary of the complaint, administrative or remedial steps taken, the Code of Conduct Charges, and the documentary evidence and witnesses to be presented in support of the Statement of Charges. A Student Conduct Board hearing is an administrative hearing. The rules of evidence do not apply.
In a matter involving more than one Student, the Student Conduct Board may permit at its discretion individual hearings for each Student.
The Student has the right to be accompanied by any advisor of their own choosing and at their own expense. An advisor’s role is limited to advising the Student directly and discretely. An advisor is not otherwise permitted to participate directly in the hearing.
2. Make-Up of the Conduct Board
The Conduct Board shall consist of 3-5 members selected by the CCA. The CCA shall appoint from the members a Chair of the Conduct Board, who shall be responsible for administering the hearing. In cases involving academic dishonesty, the Conduct Board members may include faculty, although not from the department where the alleged conduct occurred.
3. Student Conduct Board Hearing Procedure
A hearing is normally conducted in private. There shall be a record created of all hearings. The record shall be the property of the College. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chair of the Student Conduct Board. Admission of any person(s) to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the Student Conduct Board.
A hearing shall proceed as follows:
1. The CCA presents the Statement of Charges on behalf of the College. The CCA may present documents, materials and/or witnesses in support of the Statement of Charges.
2. Student responds to the Statement of Charges. The Student may present documents, materials and/or witnesses in response to the Statement of Charges.
3. Following the parties’ presentations, the Student Conduct Board may question each party, their witnesses and/or review all information presented. The Student Conduct Board has the discretion to request additional documents, materials or information from either party.
4. While direct cross-examination by the parties is not permitted, each party will be given the opportunity to question the other by presenting questions through the Chair of the Student Conduct Board. If the Chair determines a question is relevant, the other party will be asked to respond.
5. The Student Conduct Board shall have a final opportunity to question the parties.
6. After the hearing, the Student Conduct Board shall determine by majority vote whether the Statement of Charges has been proven.
7. A Student Conduct Board’s decision shall be based on a preponderance of evidence standard.
8. Within fifteen (15) days of the conclusion of a hearing, the Student Conduct Board shall issue a written decision that includes a summary of the hearing, findings on each charge contained in the Statement of Charges, the evidence supporting each finding, and disciplinary action taken, if any.
E. Step 5: Sanctions
A student found in violation of the College’s Code of Conduct shall be subject to sanctions as defined herein.
A student who violates the Code of Conduct while serving an existing sanction shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including expulsion. The intent of the College is to impose sanctions in a progressive manner, beginning with the least punitive sanction. However, depending on factors, such as the nature and severity of a student’s violation and/or prior disciplinary history, the College reserves the right to impose any sanction at any time.
F. Step 6: Appeal
Within five (5) days of receiving a written decision, the Student may file an appeal with the College’s Appeals Officer. In cases of academic dishonesty, the Appeals Officer shall be the College’s senior academic officer or designee.
An appeal must be submitted in writing and be based on a credible claim that:
- The hearing was not conducted in conformity with the Code of Conduct;
- The decision was not supported by a preponderance of the evidence presented;
- The sanction imposed was not appropriate in light of the Student Conduct Board’s decision; or
- New evidence exists, which was not presented at hearing because it was not reasonably known to the Student at that time, and which is sufficiently relevant such that it could alter the Student Conduct Board’s decision.
The Appeals Officer shall issue a written decision within ten (10) days of receiving the appeal. The Appeals Officer may accept, reject, or modify the Student Conduct Board’s decision or sanction. The Appeals Officer’s decision shall be final.
Section 10: Student Conduct Authority
The CCA is vested with the authority over administering the Student Code of Conduct and the student conduct process. The CCA may appoint administrative hearing officers and Student Conduct Board members as necessary to efficiently and effectively administer the student conduct process. The CCA or their designee will assume responsibility for the investigation of an allegation of misconduct to determine if the complaint has merit.
No complaint will be forwarded for administration under the Code unless there is reasonable cause to believe that a policy violation has occurred. Reasonable cause is defined as some credible information to support the allegation including a statement by a credible witness, police reports, or news articles. A complaint wholly unsupported by any credible information will not be forwarded for administration.
C. Administrative Hearing Officers
Administrative Hearing Officers may be chosen from a pool of annually trained administrators or faculty selected by the CCA.