Student Code of Conduct
The Student Code of conduct reflects the College community's expectations and standards established for each of its members. The code and student judicial system are founded on principles of fairness and due process, and a commitment to the educational development of students, and are designed to balance the interests of the College community as a whole with the protection of students' individual liberties.
Disciplinary action on campus deals administratively and developmentally with prohibited or unacceptable student behavior in the College community. Any complainant may refer any student or organization to the Office of Student Success. Official College action will be taken when a student's or student group's behavior violates community standards, interferes either with the College's educational purpose, or with its duty to protect and preserve individual health, welfare, and property. When the behavior is aggravated or presents a continuing danger to the College community, accused students are subject to separation from the institution.
Thus, the primary purpose of this Code is to serve the interests of both the BRCTC community and the individual student by: (1) establishing the College's authority to discipline students; (2) outlining the general rights and responsibilities of students; (3) asserting the specific standards of conduct expected of students; (4) describing actions which can be taken when misconduct occurs; (5) establishing procedures which ensure due process in the adjudication of complaints concerning students; and (6) imposing sanctions and/or providing conflict resolution in the College setting to protect, deter, and educate.
Student Code of Conduct: Standards, Proscribed Conduct, and Sanctions
The following standards and sanctions express Blue Ridge Community and Technical College's expectations for student conduct, and are essential to the College's educational mission. Participation by students in activities that violate the standards, including the proscribed behaviors listed under each standard, may result in referral to the Office of Student Success or to another college office responsible for examining and upholding standards of conduct in accordance with the due process guarantees and procedures defined in this handbook. The maximum sanction applicable to each proscribed behavior is noted in parentheses following the description of the behavior: P= Probation; SP= Suspension; EX= Expulsion.
STANDARD I: BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE STUDENTS AND STUDENT GROUPS OBSERVE THE HIGHEST PRINCIPLES OF HONESTY AND INTEGRITY AND SUPPORT A CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE TO TRUST AND SCHOLARSHIP. Violations of this standard include but are not limited to:
- All forms of academic misconduct, wherever committed, as defined in Statement of Academic Integrity. Such misconduct includes cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation or falsification of data, or collaboration with others on an academic assignment unless specifically permitted by the instructor. Disciplinary action for academic misconduct will, in most cases, be the responsibility of the academic unit in which the misconduct occurred. (EX)
- Unauthorized taking or possession of academic records, College documents, academic documents, or the academic work of others.(EX)
- Unauthorized alteration of academic records, College documents, academic documents, or the academic work of others. (EX)
- Furnishing false information to the College by forgery, alteration, or misuses of documents with the intent to deceive. (EX)
- Furnishing to a College office or official a written or oral statement known to be false (EX)
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a College judicial officer or hearing panel. (EX)
- Complicity with others in violation of this standard. (EX)
STANDARD II: BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE STUDENTS AND STUDENT GROUPS RESPECT AND PROMOTE THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE OF ALL PERSONS, INCLUDING THEMSELVES. Violations of this standard include but are not limited to:
- Hazing, which is defined as any act that injures, frightens, endangers or degrades an individual (EX)
- Inflicting bodily harm or coercing or restraining any person. (EX)
- Threatening to inflict bodily harm or to coerce or restrain any person. (EX)
- Sexual assault, abuse, or misconduct, including any sexual acts committed without the legitimate consent of the victim and any other violation of College policies concerning sexual misconduct. (EX
- Brandishing of weapons. (EX)
- Possession or storage of any weapon, dangerous devices, or substances, including, but not limited to, any firearm, pellet gun, illegal knife, sling shot, ammunition, dangerous chemicals, fireworks or explosive device, or other dangerous weapon. [See the weapons policy elsewhere in the Student Handbook] (EX)
- Fighting. (EX)
- Intentionally initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning, or threat of impending fire, explosion, or any emergency. (EX)
- Intentionally causing the evacuation of a College building for reasons known to be false. (EX)
- Tampering with, misusing, abusing, or altering any safety equipment or devices, including but not limited to, fire extinguishers, emergency telephones, AED equipment, or cameras. (EX)
- Intimidation: Committing, conspiring to commit, or causing to be committed any act directed toward a specific person or persons with the intent and/or effect of stigmatizing, frightening, coercing, or demeaning that person. This includes retaliation or threatened retaliation against any person who files a complaint or testifies in a campus judicial case. (EX)
- Stalking: engaging in an intentional course of behavior directed at a specific person or persons, which frightens, intimidates, or harasses and which serves no legitimate purpose. (EX)
- Negligent Bodily Harm: Failure to exercise reasonable care; thereby, causing bodily harm. (EX)
- Throwing objects from or causing objects to fall from College buildings. (EX)
- Interference with Emergency Services and procedures. This includes obstructing or hindering the maintenance, provision, or function of such emergency serving as fire department, police department, security, first aid or rescue, and obstructing or hindering emergency or practice evacuation or similar procedures announced from any building or facility. (EX)
- Violation of College policies regarding smoking and tobacco use on College property [Refer to smoking policy].
- Complicity with others in violation of this standard. (EX)
STANDARD III: BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE STUDENTS AND STUDENT GROUPS RESPECT AND HONOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIGNITY OF OTHER PERSONS, GROUPS, AND ORGANIZATIONS. Violations of this standard include but are not limited to:
- Harassment: committing, conspiring to commit, or causing to be committed any act directed toward a specific person or persons with the intent and/or effect of causing physical or mental harm, injury, fear, stigma, disgrace, degradation, or embarrassment. This includes but is not limited to racial, sexual, or peer harassment. (EX)
- Racial Harassment (EX)
- Sexual Harassment (EX)
- Incivility or disrespect of persons. (SP)
- Lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct or expression. (SP)
- Unlawful discrimination based on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, political affiliation, handicap, age, or sexual orientation. (EX)
- Complicity with others in violation of this standard. (EX)
STANDARD IV: BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE STUDENTS AND STUDENT GROUPS UPHOLD THE MISSION OF THE COLLEGE BY PROTECTING AND PRESERVING A CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT CONSISTENT WITH THE COLLEGE'S EDUCATIONAL AND ACADEMIC GOALS. Violations of this standard include but are not limited to:
- Unauthorized possession or use of drugs or narcotics. This includes any drug for which the required prescription has not been validly obtained. (EX)
- Unauthorized possession, use, or distribution of alcoholic beverages. (EX)
- Behavior that elicits underage consumption of alcoholic beverages. (SP)
- Actual, attempted, or intended manufacture, cultivation, distribution and/or sale of drugs, narcotics, or marijuana or other controlled substances. (EX)
- Disruptive or disorderly behavior attributable to use of alcohol or other controlled substance(s), including public intoxication. (EX)
- Misbehavior at any Blue Ridge CTC sponsored event. (EX) This includes but is not limited to:
- Throwing any article into a crowd, classroom, or stage.(EX)
- Displaying any unauthorized or obscene, offensive, or obstructive banner or sign.(SP)
- Inappropriate yelling at or harassment of students, faculty, or staff. (EX)
- Unauthorized animals on campus or other violation of the College's animal policy as presented in the Student Handbook. (P)
- Disruptive or disorderly conduct; disturbing the peace through noise, rowdiness, or pranks. (P)
- Obstructing or interfering with the orderly conduct of College affairs including teaching, research, administrative and disciplinary procedures, commencement, or any College sponsored event. (EX)
- Obstructing the free flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic on College premises. (SP)
- Failure to comply with direction of College security or College officials in the performance of their duties. (EX)
- Complicity with others in violation of this standard. (SP)
STANDARD V: BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE STUDENTS AND STUDENT GROUPS RESPECT THE PROPERT OF OTHERS, AND THE PROPERTY, FACILITIES, AND RESOURCES OF THE COLLEGE. Violations of this standard include but are not limited to:
- Defacement, damage, destruction, or interference with any property, property right, or service belonging to other persons, groups, or organizations. (EX)
- Theft or unauthorized possession of, or misuse of property belonging to other persons, groups, or organizations. This includes possessing, receiving, or storing property known to have been wrongfully taken from the College or from any person or group. (EX)
- Theft or unauthorized use of, misuse of, or interference with, services provided by or for other persons, groups, or organizations. This includes but is not limited to telephone services, credit services, mail services, and photocopying services. (EX)
- Negligent Destruction or Impairment of Property or Services: Failure to exercise reasonable care, thereby, causing damage, defacement, destruction, theft or loss of property belonging to the College or any person or group. (EX)
- Negligent Risk of Destruction or Impairment of Property or Services: Failure to exercise reasonable care, thereby, creating a risk of damage, defacement, destruction, theft or loss of property belonging to the College or any person or group. (EX)
- Misuse of College keys: The unauthorized duplication, attempted duplication, use, loan, or possession of any key to any building, room, property, or facility owned or controlled by the College. (EX)
- Forcibly breaking into and/or entering, or attempting to break into, any building, room, vehicle, or other facility. (EX)
- Misuse of computing networks, services, systems, or equipment, including but not limited to, unauthorized accessing of accounts, sharing of passwords, and all other provisions of the College's information technology environment. This includes using computer services to violate or aid in the violation of any other provision of this code. (EX)
- Unauthorized presence or trespassing in or use of any College building or facility. (EX)
- Improper or unauthorized usage of any College building or facility. (EX)
- Misuse of College telephones, including charging or causing to be charged any long distance or other toll telephone call to a College telephone without proper authorization. (P)
- Misuse of any College identification material, including loaning, transferring, altering, or borrowing. (SP)
- Complicity with others in violation of this standard. (EX)
STANDARD VI: BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE STUDENTS AND STUDENT GROUPS UPHOLD THE MISSION OF THE COLLEGE BY BEING RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS. BRCTC STUDENTS AND STUDENT GROUPS COMPLY WITH THE POLICIES, PROCEDURES, AND PROGRAMS OF THE COLLEGE AND THE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE SYSTEM OF WV AND OBJEY ALL FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL LAWS. Violations of this standard include but are not limited to:
- Passing worthless checks or failing to promptly redeem a worthless check submitted to any unit within the College. (SP)
- Violation of federal, state, local, county, or municipal laws or ordinances. To be charged under this section, the student will, in most cases, have been found guilty or declined to contest charges in a court of law. (EX)
- Violation of Board of Governors' Policies not covered in this code. (EX)
- Repeated or Multiple Violations, Violations of Probation or Judicial Agreements. This applies to students who have demonstrated a history of violating College regulations, and/or who commit any violation of the terms of any College-imposed sanction or judicial agreement, and/or who fail to comply with the terms and conditions of sanction(s) imposed under the student code. (EX)
- Knowingly providing false information to any College representative including but not limited to: application for admission, financial aid, registrar, career services, or human resources. (EX)
- Failure to comply with a directive or request issued by a duly constituted campus judicial or College official.(EX)
- Failure to report to College officials a violation of College policies. (SP)
- Complicity with others in violation of this standard. (EX)
Any member of the BRCTC community may refer a student or student organization suspected of violating the Code of Conduct to the Office of Enrollment Management. Complainants and other persons making referrals are expected to cooperate with the Office of Enrollment Management to provide all information relevant to handling and investigating the case. Complaints should be made within a reasonable timeframe to the alleged offense.
Students and employees who witness violations of the Code of Conduct are expected to cooperate in campus judicial proceedings if needed. Accused students have the right to know the identity of people who testify against them, and to ask questions about witnesses' testimony in campus judicial proceedings. By filing a formal, written complaint or Incident Report with the Office of Enrollment Management, the complainant gives permission for his or her name to be so included in the disciplinary record of the accused student.
The Office of Enrollment Management strives to respect and uphold the safety and privacy concerns of complainants and witnesses. The educational judicial records of all students are subject to complex regulations for confidentiality. Information about witnesses, complainants, and the accused is generally restricted to those persons directly involved in deciding the outcome of the case or who have a bona fide educational need to know. Complainants, witnesses, and members of the public are not usually entitled to information about a student's campus judicial proceedings and educational record. However, victims of sexual assault and/or violence are in, most circumstances, entitled to know the final outcome of judicial proceedings against their alleged attackers.
Complaints filed with the Office of Enrollment Management are not criminal complaints and campus judicial proceedings are not offered as substitutes for criminal prosecution. Persons who witness criminal acts by students should report those acts to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
During the period in which Judicial charges are pending, a student under charges, unless suspended, or when his/her continued participation or presence would serve to disrupt the purpose of the College, shall continue to have the rights and privileges afforded other students. However, grades, records, transcripts, or diplomas may be withheld pending determination of the charges.
Authority for Student Discipline
The President of the College is responsible for all matters of student discipline, including the preservation of due process procedures. This responsibility is normally delegated to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and the Associate Dean of Students for the purpose of implementing approved policies and regulations. However, the President's ultimate authority in the regulation of student conduct, including direct intervention by the President when appropriate, is presumed by this Code. All Presidential decisions regarding student sanctions are final.
The President (or designee) may invoke emergency authority to impose the sanction, among other things, of suspension to a student or group of students whose conduct is non-peaceful or is disruptive or constitutes a danger to health, safety, or property, provided that a judicial hearing is held within a reasonable time frame of the decision to suspend.
Disciplinary Actions for Violation of Student Code of Conduct
Sanctions: The purpose of a sanction, in addition to protecting others, is primarily to educate an individual by increasing his or her awareness of the importance of responsibility to the College community for one's actions. This will ordinarily be the guiding force behind imposition of sanctions by the College. In some instances, however, the community's need to properly function outweighs the College's ability to so educate an individual. In such a case, for the benefit of both the student and the community, suspension from the College may result.
Normally, students facing suspension or expulsion from the institution will be entitled to a hearing prior to the imposition of the sanction. However, a student may, temporarily, be suspended, pending final action, when the student's continued presence on campus would constitute a potential for serious harm to himself/herself or to the safety of other members of the institutional community. Such temporary suspension shall be followed with speedy disciplinary proceedings consistent with these policies, rules, and regulations. A student who is expelled from another institution will not be considered for admission until one year has elapsed after the student was expelled.
The following sanctions may be imposed for violation of this code:
- Expulsion: Expulsion is defined as the termination of all student status, including any remaining right or privilege to receive some benefit or recognition or certification. Conditions for re-admission may be established only through written appeal to the President no sooner than one complete calendar year from the date the expulsion was placed in effect. During the expulsion, the person is barred from coming onto or using College property or facilities. The action will appear on the student's official transcript until such time as an appeal is made to and granted by the President to terminate the expulsion.
- Suspension: This action involves separation of the student from the College as specified by the Judicial Committee for a definite stated period of time up to one academic year. Condition on resumption of activities, if any, also may be imposed. Notification appears on the student's official transcript until the expiration of the sanction. A suspended student may apply for re-admission to the College through the Office of Enrollment Management at the end of the suspension period specified by the judicial action. The Office of Enrollment Management may deny re-admission in those instances where the suspended student fails to demonstrate a positive change in behavior which indicates that the suspended student is prepared to become, again, a responsible member of the BRCTC community. Numerous resource persons and agencies may be used to assist the student in identifying and clarifying experiences, goals, educational and career choices, and other personal objectives.
- Probation: This action involves a specified period of time determined by the Judicial Board or Office of Enrollment Management during which a student in violation of one or more BRCTC regulations is given an opportunity to prove that he or she can become a responsible and positive member of the BRCTC community. A student violating any College regulation or the terms of probation while on probation may be subject to disciplinary action as specified under this code. When a student is placed on probation, the Office of Enrollment Management will notify appropriate College offices of that action. Probation may include one or more of the following:
- Loss of Privilege of Participation in Advanced Registration: The student will relinquish his/her advanced registration privileges for one year, and, therefore, will register at the end of advanced registration for currently enrolled students. Exceptions may be granted by the Office of Enrollment Management in those instances where the student is in need of a required course in order to progress academically.
- Self-Improvement: A program of self-development will be planned in conjunction with a faculty or staff person assigned to assist in a counseling/guidance capacity. Numerous resource persons and agencies may be used to assist the student in identifying and clarifying experiences, goals, educational and career choices, and other personal objectives.
- Loss of Participation: The student may not represent the College or participate in any extracurricular activities including informal activities of a recreational nature sponsored by the College.
- Additional Sanctions: In addition to the above sanctions, students may be required to comply with the following
- Restitution: Reimbursement by the student for damage to or misappropriation of property, if offered by the college and accepted by the student.
- Compensatory Service: Assignment to perform specific duties for the college for a specified period of time if offered by the college and accepted by the student.
- All Campus Locations: A student sanctioned at one college location is under sanction at all other BRCTC locations. Any student who is currently under sanction and who is found to have violated the terms of the sanction will be suspended or expelled.
Violation of Student Code of Conduct
Step 1: Any person may request initiation of disciplinary proceedings against a student suspected of violation of any law, Board policy, administrative procedure, or regulation. In the event of alleged non-violent offenses, the Associate Dean of Students will initiate a preliminary investigation. In the event of alleged violent offenses, the Director of Security will initiate a preliminary investigation. **Students suspected of offenses which threaten the health or safety of the BRCTC community may be barred from all campus locations and activities.**
Step 2: Upon receipt of the findings of the investigation (violent or non-violent), the Associate Dean of Students will inform the student of the disposition of the matter which may include disciplinary action. If the student agrees with the findings and proposed sanction, the student may sign an agreement to initiate the agreed upon sanction and will avoid a judicial hearing.
Step 3: If a student does not agree with the findings and proposed sanction, a judicial hearing will take place within a reasonable amount of time from the report of the offense. The judicial committee will be comprised of a 3 person panel of faculty, staff, and student representative. The Associate Dean of Students/Judicial Coordinator will present the findings and proposed sanction to the Judicial Committee during the time of the Judicial Hearing. The accused student will be granted ample time during the judicial hearing to respond to the accusations and present his or her side of the case. **Students who wish to bring legal council must notify the Associate Dean of Students 48 hours prior to the judicial hearing. Council may be present but is not permitted to participate in the judicial hearing. ** The student will receive written notification of the judicial committee's decision within 5 business days.
Step 4: In the event that the accused student wishes to appeal the decision of the judicial committee, a written appeal may be made to the President within 5 business days. The President may decline to hear the appeal if the sanction by the Vice President of Enrollment Management is less severe than suspension or dismissal. If the President decides to hear the appeal he will then make the final decision. The decision will be rendered within 15 calendar days. All Presidential decisions are final and are not subject to an appeal process.