May 23, 2024  
2021-2022 Student Handbook 
    
2021-2022 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Reporting a Violation of Student Code of Conduct


A. Filing a Complaint.   

Any member of the College community who believes that a violation of the Student Code has occurred may file a complaint with the Office of Enrollment Management. Complaints of student misconduct and misconduct of a student organization should be submitted to the Office of Enrollment Management as soon as possible following the alleged misconduct or the date on which the individual knew or should have known of the misconduct.

Regardless of whether a formal complaint is ever filed, allegations of student misconduct, from any credible source, will be reviewed by the assigned Student Code Administrator, or other appropriate personnel.

No complaint or allegation of misconduct will be investigated more than one (1) year after the alleged misconduct took place or after the alleged misconduct should have been discovered unless good cause is shown for the delay.

The individual filing the complaint is referred to as the Complainant.  The Respondent or student organization is referred to as the Respondent.

If the Complainant wants to file a formal complaint, the Complainant must submit to the Assistant Dean or designee his/her official Statement of Complaint (Complaint) and all materials supporting the complaint within seven (7) days of the meeting. Such materials may include, but are not necessarily limited to witness list, contact information of witnesses if known, detailed statements prepared by a factual witness(es), written correspondence shared between the parties, documents, photographs, property receipts, medical reports, and any other information relevant to the Complaint.

These materials will become part of the Case File.

At the conclusion of the seven (7) calendar day deadline for submission of the Complaint and all supporting materials, the Complainant’s official Statement of Complaint is rendered complete.  The only additional materials that he/she will be allowed to submit is information that responds specifically to information submitted by the Respondent that could not have reasonably been anticipated by and addressed in the Complainant’s original Statement of Complaint.

B. Review.

The Assistant Dean or designee will review the Complaint, interview the Complainant and may interview any witnesses named in the Complaint in order to determine whether there is sufficient information and/or evidence to support the allegations of misconduct.  As part of the interview, the Assistant Dean or designee will advise the Complainant and/or witnesses of their potential role in the Code of Student Conduct adjudicatory process. If the Assistant Dean or designee determines the allegations set forth in the complaint, if proven, would not constitute a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, or that insufficient evidence/information exists to support the allegations in the Complaint, the Assistant Dean or designee will notify the Complainant via the College email system that charges against the responding student will not be pursued. A dropped charge may be reinstated at the discretion of the Assistant Dean or designee if substantial new information should become available.  If a charge is reinstated, the Respondent will be sent a charge notice.  If a charge is dropped, the student will have no disciplinary history related to it.

If the Assistant Dean or designee determines that the allegations, if proven would constitute a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and that sufficient evidence/information exists to support the allegations in the Complaint, the Assistant Dean or designee will issue the Respondent a Charge Letter.

C. Interim Measures.

Interim measures may be initiated by the Assistant Dean to protect the safety and well-being of persons involved in an incident and/or the campus community pending the outcome of the investigative and adjudicative processes. Interim measures may include the following to the extent reasonably available and appropriate

  1. Interim suspension.  Immediate separation of a Student from the College President (or designee) pending an investigation or adjudication. Through the duration of the interim suspension, the Student may be restricted from College property and may be required to provide prior notice and receive approval from the Assistant Dean of Students for the purpose of conducting College business. The interim suspension will be imposed only in exceptional circumstances to ensure the health, safety or welfare of members of the College or College property or to ensure the Student’s own safety and welfare. Students who have been suspended on an interim basis must have a conduct hearing within a practical period of time after the imposition of the interim suspension.  Interim Suspension/Emergency Suspension procedures are set forth in this Code of Conduct.
  2. No Contact Directive.  A no-contact directive is an official College directive that serves as notice to an individual(s) that they must not have physical contact with or proximity to, or direct verbal, electronic, written, and/or indirect third-party communications with another individual.
  3. Academic accommodations.  This may include assistance in transferring to another section of a course, assistance in requesting withdrawal or an incomplete grade in a particular course, leaves of absence or withdrawal from the College, or assistance requesting alternate methods of completing coursework.
  4. Housing accommodations.  This may include requiring a Student to relocate housing pending the outcome of a conduct investigation or proceeding. This may also include facilitating changes in on-campus housing location to alternate housing, or assistance in exploring alternative housing off-campus.
  5. Employment accommodations.  This may include arranging for alternate College employment, different work shifts, etc.
  6. Other Accommodations.  Any other measure that may be arranged by the College (to the extent reasonably available) to ensure the safety and well-being of a Student and/or the College community. This may include the use of alternate dispute resolution services such as mediation or restorative practices when appropriate.
  7. Deferral of the degree.  The Student Conduct Hearing Board or the Vice President of Enrollment Management may withhold the conferral of the degree until the disciplinary action has been resolved.  Deferral of a degree is an interim measure that is NOT dependent upon the health, safety or welfare of the campus but is imposed in cases where the disciplinary proceedings may not be resolved prior to Commencement.

D. Charge Letter.

If the Assistant Dean or designee determines that there is sufficient information/evidence to support the allegation(s) of misconduct set forth in the complaint, the Assistant Dean or designee will issue Respondent a Charge Letter directing the student to meet with the Assistant Dean or designee to discuss the allegations.  The Charge Letter should include:

  1. the College Policy, campus regulation(s) and/or sections of the Conduct Code the Respondent is alleged to have violated;
  2. a summary of the Complaint including the specific conduct;
  3. whenever possible, the date, time, and location of the alleged offense;
  4. a statement of the sanction(s) that may be imposed if applicable;
  5. a statement that if the student is found responsible for the misconduct; the student’s prior disciplinary record may be considered when imposing sanctions
  6. notice of any interim measures that have been imposed;
  7. notice of the student’s right to be accompanied at any stage of the proceedings by an Advisor or legal counsel that is paid for at the student’s own expense;
  8. notice of the student’s right to a hearing (Formal Resolution);
  9. the right to engage in Voluntary Resolution unless the charge is sexual misconduct;
  10. notice to the student of his/her right to request a copy of the student’s own conduct file;
  11. directions on how to obtain a copy of the Student Conduct Code; and
  12. notice that a Disciplinary Hold will be placed upon the Respondent’s record pending the outcome of the Disciplinary Process.

E. Respondent Meeting with Assistant Dean or designee.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide the Respondent with an opportunity to discuss and respond to the charges set forth in the Charge Letter as well as to provide the Respondent with an opportunity to choose a course of action.  During the meeting, the Respondent is presented with a copy of the Complainant’s Statement of Complaint and the supporting materials. The College’s student adjudication process is explained and the Respondent’s procedural questions are answered. The Respondent is provided an opportunity to present his/her verbal response to the allegations.

  1. Voluntary Resolution:  During the meeting or at any time prior to a Hearing, the Respondent may choose to engage in Voluntary Resolution of the complaint by accepting responsibility for the conduct set forth in the Charge Letter.  By accepting responsibility for the conduct set forth in the Charge Letter and accepting Voluntary Resolution of the Complaint, the Respondent student waives all rights to a hearing and/or any other due process rights the student may be entitled to receive under this process or any other State or Federal law including but not limited to the right to a hearing on the merits of the charge, right to confront accusers and/or the right to be represented by an advisor and/or legal counsel at the hearing.  Investigation of the Complaint ends and the Respondent and the Assistant Dean or designee will discuss and agree upon sanctions and enter into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement.  If the Assistant Dean or designee and the student cannot reach a mutually acceptable agreement regarding sanctions, then the charges will be sent to the Hearing Board for a decision to be made on the sanction alone.  The Assistant Dean or designee will notify the Complainant of the Voluntary Resolution of the Complaint via United States Postal Service or the College’s email system.  The Assistant Dean or designee will not provide the Complainant with any sanction information unless the sanctions directly involve the Complainant. **Sexual Misconduct complaints cannot be resolved using Voluntary Resolution. **
  2. Medical Amnesty.  In order to promote a living and learning environment the College encourages students to seek medical attention in life-threatening situations that result from alcohol and/or drug use.  Therefore, Students who have received medical attention for alcohol and/or drug use and/or who have helped other students obtain medical attention who want to apply for medical amnesty are required to follow the procedures outlined in this procedure.
  3. Formal Resolution.  If the Respondent does not accept responsibility, the Assistant Dean or designee will continue to investigate the Complaint for the purpose of making a decision on responsibility and if applicable sanctions.  The Respondent is given seven (7) calendar days from the date of the meeting with the Assistant Dean or designee to submit, in writing, his/her official Statement of Response and all supporting materials. Such materials may include, but are not necessarily limited to: witness list, detailed statements prepared by a witness(es), written correspondence shared between the parties, photographs, property receipts, medical reports, etc. The Assistant Dean or designee will review the documents to ensure their inclusion meets established policies and procedures. These materials will become part of the Official Case File.  Statements should be written with a clear font that is easily readable. The Complainant will receive a copy of the Respondent’s materials from the Assistant Dean or designee and will have two (2) business days to respond to material submitted by the Respondent which could not have reasonably been anticipated by and addressed in the Complainant’s original Statement of Complaint. If the Complainant submits any additional material, the Assistant Dean or designee will review the materials to ensure their inclusion meets process’-established policies and procedures. The Complainant cannot submit more than 10 pages of materials in response to the Respondent’s materials.
  4. No Response. If the Respondent fails to attend the meeting with the Assistant Dean or designee and/or fails to provide a written response without requesting an extension of time and/or notifying the Assistant Dean or designee, the Assistant Dean or designee is authorized to make a decision on responsibility and to issue sanctions based upon the information provided by the Complainant.  

F. Decision.

Within a reasonable time after receipt of all information from the Complainant and the Respondent, the Assistant Dean or designee will issue a decision on responsibility and sanctions if applicable.  The Assistant Dean or designee will use the preponderance of the evidence standard to determine responsibility; that is, the Assistant Dean or designee will determine whether it is more likely true than not true that the Respondent is responsible for conduct set forth in the complaint and for violating the Student Code of Conduct or other rules, regulation or policy.  The Assistant Dean or designee will notify the Respondent of his/her final decision via certified mail, return receipt requested. The Assistant Dean or designee will notify the Complainant of the Decision on responsibility via the United States Postal Service by certified mail, hand delivery with a delivery receipt, or the College’s email system.  The Assistant Dean or designee will not provide the Complainant with any sanction information unless the sanctions directly involve the Complainant.  The Decision is part of the Official Case File.

G.  Request for Hearing.

Within four (4) business days of receipt of the Assistant Dean or designee’s decision, the Respondent may submit to the Assistant Dean or designee a written request for a hearing before the Hearing Board.  Email requests must be time stamped on or before the close of business on the fourth (4th) day after receipt.  Requests sent by any postal service must be postmarked on or before the fourth (4th) business day after receipt. Once a request for hearing is made, the Assistant Dean or designee’s decision will be stayed or held in abeyance (temporarily delayed), unless the Assistant Dean or designee determines that the health, safety, and welfare of the College community would be placed in jeopardy.  If the Respondent does not request a hearing in accordance within the timeframe set forth in the section, the Assistant Dean or designee’s Decision will become final and sanctions will be implemented on the fourth business day after the expiration of the appeal timeframe.  Hearings will be conducted in the following manner:

  1. Selection of the Hearing Panel
    1. The Hearing Panel will be appointed annually by the President.  The panel will include twelve-month faculty, staff, and students.  From the appointees, one faculty member, one staff member, and one student will serve as the Hearing Panel at the time a Hearing Panel is convened. This will be considered ad hoc and will not meet regularly.  Title IX cases will have Panel members who are certified.
    2. If any member of the Panel feels that his/her relationship, knowledge, or familiarity with the incident in question or the individuals involved would affect his/her ability to render an impartial decision, the Panel member will recuse him/herself. One faculty member on a Hearing Panel shall serve as the Chair of the Hearing Panel (“Chair”).
    3. The Respondent and Complainant will have an opportunity to review a list of the Hearing Panel members and will be given an opportunity to challenge the members for bias.
    4. Notwithstanding anything else in this Code, the College reserves the right to select appropriate individuals to serve on a Hearing Panel in order to ensure that both the due process rights of the Respondent and the fairness of the process are preserved.
  2. Notice of Hearing Panel Membership/Notice of Hearing
    1. The Chair of the Hearing Panel will send the Complainant, Respondent and the Assistant Dean or designee a Notice of Hearing Panel Membership listing the names of the Hearing Panel members.  The Notice of Hearing Panel Membership will include the procedure for challenging a member(s) for bias.
    2. The Complainant or Respondent shall submit any challenges to the membership to the Vice-President of Enrollment Management within three working days of receipt of the Notice of Hearing Panel Membership.  The Vice-President will issue the decision on any challenges within a reasonable time after receipt.  The Vice-President’s decision is final.  Complainants and Respondents who do not challenge the membership of the Hearing Panel at this time waive all right to raise such challenges.
  3. Evidence/Witnesses
    1. At least three working days after receipt of the Notice of Hearing Panel Membership, the Assistant Dean or designee and Respondent will submit to the Chair of the Hearing Panel the names, applicable contact information, and purpose of any witnesses that they intend to rely on at the hearing.
  4. Notice of Hearing.
    1. Within a reasonable time after the expiration of the time frame to challenge the members of the Hearing Panel or after the Vice President makes a decision on any challenges, the Chair of the Hearing Panel will send the Complainant, the Respondent and the Assistant Dean or designee, and the witnesses a Notice of Hearing that includes the date of the hearing and the procedure for requesting the presentation of testimony by video-conferencing.
  5. Hearings shall be conducted according to the following:
    1. Hearings shall be conducted in private.
    2. The Assistant Dean or designee will present the facts and information obtained from the investigation to the Hearing Panel on behalf of the College.
    3. The Respondent and the Assistant Dean or designee may make statements and ask questions of witnesses.
    4. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chair of the Hearing Panel.
    5. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, nor shall deviations from prescribed procedures necessarily invalidate a decision or proceeding, unless significant prejudice to a student or the College results. Rather, the Chair shall have the authority to decide any issues regarding relevancy or admissibility that may arise during the hearing.
    6. The Chair shall have the authority to discharge or to remove any person whose presence is deemed unnecessary or obstructive to the proceedings.
    7. Prospective witnesses, other than the Complainant(s) or other Respondents, will only be present during their own testimony. Cell phones and other electronic devices may be secured by reasonable means determined by the Chair prior to the hearing in order to eliminate texting or e-mailing information about the hearing to other witnesses. The devices will be returned to each witness after they have been excused from the hearing.
    8. The Hearing Panel may ask questions of a witness. Questioning of witnesses will be conducted in a format identified by the Chair.
    9. If a Respondent, after receiving a Hearing Notice, does not appear for a hearing, the hearing will proceed without the Respondent. However, no inference may be drawn against a Respondent for failing to attend a hearing and no decision shall be based solely on the failure of the Respondent to attend the hearing.
    10. The hearing will be digitally recorded.
    11. In cases involving violations of Board of Governors Policy 15, the  Complainant and/or the alleged victim will be afforded all of the same rights afforded to the Respondent.

H. Notice of Hearing Board Decision and Appeal

  1. The Respondent will be notified, in writing by hand delivery or certified mail, within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the hearing.  The letter will include a statement of the Respondent’s right to appeal to the Vice President of Enrollment Management within five business days from the date that the Respondent receives the decision.  The Vice-President of Enrollment Management will review the Case File including but not limited to the Hearing Panel recording and any evidence presented at the hearing.  The Vice President of Enrollment Management may affirm, reverse, or modify the decision (including the sanction decision) or order a new hearing.  The Vice President of Enrollment Management’s decision is final.
  2. The Complainant will be notified of the Hearing Panel’s decision on responsibility but will not be notified of any sanctions if applicable unless the sanctions relate directly to the Complainant.  If a student is found to have violated a specific act set forth in this Student Code and that act constitutes a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, as defined by 34 C.F.R. § 99.39 (2015), then, pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a)(14)(i) (2015) and the College’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act notification, the College may disclose the final results of the proceedings to anyone. For purposes of this disclosure, “final results” means the name of the student, the basic nature of the violation the student was found to have committed, and a description and duration of any sanction imposed against the student.
  3.  If the Complainant is deceased as a result of the offense, the administrator or executor of such victim’s estate shall be treated as the Complainant for purposes of this paragraph.  If the Complainant does not have an administrator or executor, then the next of kin shall be notified.