Student Conduct Code
- Civility and Respect
- Article I: Definitions
- Article II: Student Rights
- Article III: Authority
- Article IV: Proscribed Conduct
- Article V: Disciplinary Policies
- Article VI: Off-campus Incidents
- Article VII: Compliance with Federal Law
- Article IIX: Interpretation and Revision
While the Code of Conduct defines and identifies the rules and regulations regarding student conduct, there is a more fundamental expectation that all students, employees and guests of the Community College build and maintain a culture of civility, respect and inclusion. These behavioral cornerstones support the mission of the college and provide a framework within which all other college activities take place. We are all expected to treat one another with respect through our greetings, language, appearance and actions. We exhibit civility through our language, attitude and behavior. We actively seek to include all perspectives and all people in our community.
We seek to build a culture that fosters mutual respect, inclusion and a drive toward learning and self-improvement. As an institution of higher learning, we seek to understand that which separates us, and build connections that increase knowledge, understanding and community strength. As a community, we expect standards of civility and respect to be upheld at all times, in all situations. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Conducting oneself appropriately in the classroom, participating, arriving on time, avoiding distracting or disruptive situations, respecting differences of opinion, completing work in a timely manner and being respectful of others’ needs in the classroom that may be different from your own.
- Understanding that, as the state’s only community college, all residents of the state who seek to learn and improve themselves are welcome and belong here.
- Acknowledging that the diversity of the state and our college is a strength and that no one should be made to feel inferior or treated as anything other than a human being worthy of respect.
- Affirming that, when we disagree, we do so respectfully, without anger or resorting to personal attacks, and that we will seek to understand why others think or believe as they do in a spirit of honest inquiry.
- Accepting that our disputes should be resolved by designated parties when they cannot be resolved by ourselves. There is no place for violence, verbal or mental abuse, or harassment in higher education or in our community.
- Avoiding inflammatory, rude, sarcastic, obscene or disrespectful speech and disruptive behavior that has a negative impact on everyone’s learning.
Civility and respect are not rules that can be violated and heard in a disciplinary setting. They are standards of the community that should be encouraged and supported by all members of the community in all settings. They are standards that the college will address. Should others question your adherence to the standards of civility and respect, you should use the examples above: seek to understand the difference in opinion, respectfully agree to disagree if there is no common ground and seek appropriate college support to help resolve unresolved conflicts.
- The term “college” means Community College of Rhode Island.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the college, both full and part time. Those who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college are considered “students.”
- The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the college to conduct classroom activities.
- The term “college official” includes any person employed by the college, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
- The term “member of the college community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, college official or any other person employed by the college. The dean of students shall determine a person’s status in a particular situation.
- The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for recognition by the college.
- The term “college premises” 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.
- The term “conduct hearing board” means any person or persons authorized by the dean of students to determine whether a student has violated the Student Conduct Code and to recommend imposition of sanctions.
- The term “conduct hearing officer” means a college official authorized on a case-by-case basis by the dean of students to impose sanctions upon students found to have violated the Student Conduct Code. The dean of students may authorize a conduct hearing officer to serve simultaneously as a conduct-hearing officer and the sole member or one of the members of a conduct hearing board. Nothing shall prevent the dean of students from authorizing the same conduct hearing officer to impose sanctions in all cases.
- The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
- The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
- The term “business day” refers to any day that the college is open and conducting business, exclusive of weekends. The term “academic day” refers to any day that the college holds classes.
- The dean of students is that person designated by the college president to be responsible for the administration of the Student Conduct Code.
- The term “policy” is defined as the written regulations of the college as found in, but not limited to, the Student Conduct Code, the college catalog, posted or emailed notices, or found on the college’s website.
- A student shall have the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe atmosphere, free from bullying, prejudice, discrimination, harassment and abuse – verbal, physical or psychological. A student must actively contribute to the creation of a safe learning environment.
- A student shall have the freedom to express opinions, beliefs and attitudes. However, a student is not free from the consequences of utilizing that freedom and must extend the same freedom of expression to others.
- An applicant for admission to the college shall not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, citizenship status or status as a special disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, or any other protected status under state or federal law, except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law.
- An applicant for, or a recipient of, college financial aid or college scholarship shall not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, citizenship status or status as a special disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, or any other protected status under state or federal law, except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law.
- A student shall be free from searches and seizures of person and possessions while on college property unless there is a case of imminent danger to the health and/or safety of individuals or when there are reasonable grounds upon which to believe it is necessary to conduct a search immediately in order to protect life or property. Searches will be conducted by Campus Police in the presence of a designated Student Affairs dean.
- Students’ disciplinary records shall be maintained by the Dean of Students Office and are treated in a confidential manner in accordance with FERPA regulations. Such records will be maintained for at least six (6) years after the date of the incident that led to the initiation of disciplinary action. Disciplinary records will be kept separate and confidential unless the student consents in writing to have it revealed or as allowed by law and/or FERPA regulations.
- Student Health Services medical, surgical and mental health records and information are confidential and will not be released to anyone without the student’s knowledge and signed authorization or in accordance with state and federal law.
- The Dean of Students Office shall empanel student conduct hearing boards as needed and shall appoint a member of the administrative staff to serve as a limited voting chair of each hearing board. Administrative chairs shall only vote in event of a tie. Each hearing board must have an equal number of student and faculty representatives, but not less than one each, to hold a hearing.
- When convening a hearing board will unnecessarily delay the timely hearing of a case or when insufficient members to hold a hearing are available, a case may be referred to an administrative hearing conducted by a designated Student Affairs dean serving as a conduct hearing officer following the general procedures established for a hearing.
- The Dean of Students Office shall determine which conduct hearing board or conduct hearing officer shall be authorized to hear each case.
- The Dean of Students Office shall develop policies for the administration of the program and procedural rules for the conduct of hearings that are consistent with provisions of the Student Conduct Code. Such policies and procedures must be included with notification to a student that he or she has been accused of violating the Student Conduct Code.
- Decisions made by a conduct hearing board or conduct hearing officer shall be final, subject to the normal appeal process.
- A Dean of Students Office staff member may be designated as a mediator of disputes within the student community or in student conduct cases. All parties must agree to mediation and to be bound by the decision with no right of appeal.
Section A. Jurisdiction of the College
Generally, college jurisdiction and discipline shall apply to conduct of an enrolled student that occurs on or off college premises, including in online and electronic spaces, and that adversely affects the college community and the pursuit of its objectives.
Section B. Misconduct – Rules and Regulations
Any student found to have committed misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article V, Section C. Misconduct is defined as, but not limited to, the following:
- Acts of dishonesty, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Cheating, plagiarism, violations of testing protocols, or any other form of academic dishonesty that seeks to portray the work of others as your own to gain an academic advantage over others through the unacknowledged effort of others, or in any way benefit from anything not through your own scholarship.
The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to:
- Use, or the attempted use, of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests or examinations.
- Dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments.
- The acquisition of teaching or testing materials, including test banks and answer keys, or access to online resources provided by textbook publishers, without the express permission of the college faculty or staff.
- The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to:
- the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment.
- It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
- Furnishing false information to any college official or faculty member.
- Forgery, alteration or misuse of any college document, record or instrument of identification.
- Tampering with the election of any college-recognized student organization.
- Printing or posting knowingly false information with the intent to harm or humiliate an individual.
- Disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other college activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-college activities, when they occur on college premises and that infringes on the rights of other members of the college community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within.
- Violence, including physical abuse, fighting, threats of violence, or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
- Verbal harassment, including bullying, is defined as unwelcome words or conduct, intentional or otherwise, that are severe, persistent or pervasive and unreasonably interfere with a community member’s ability to enjoy the benefits and opportunities of the college, that is not otherwise covered by Title IX or Non-discrimination policies elsewhere in this handbook.
- Sexual misconduct that is not otherwise covered by Title IX or Non-discrimination policies elsewhere
in this handbook., including:
- sexual harassment, defined here as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other intentional conduct of a sexual nature that are severe, persistent, or pervasive and deny the recipient reasonable access to educational or co-curricular opportunities.
- dating or domestic violence, where physical violence is committed between individuals who are in an interpersonal relationship or share a domicile;
- sexual assault, including the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with anybody part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
- Fondling, the touching by hands (or other parts of the body) of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim.
- sexual exploitation, including violations of personal privacy that encompass voyeurism, unauthorized recordings and distribution of sexually explicit media without permission. stalking, or instances where there are two or more incidents of physical or virtual following of an individual that causes substantial emotional distress or a fear for personal safety.
- retaliation for filing a sexual misconduct complaint.
For the purposes of this section, consent means conduct that signifies through words or behaviors that the parties have indicated agreement to engage in sexual activity. Consent is an informed agreement to participate in specific sexual acts.
- Past consent does not imply future consent.
- Silence or absence of resistance, by itself, does not imply consent.
- Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.
- Consent can be withdrawn at any time, including during sexual activity.
- Coercion, force or threat of force invalidates consent.
Sexual misconduct that meets the definitions of sexual harassment under Title IX or the Council on Postsecondary Education Non-Discrimination Policy will be adjudicated through the process outlined by the Rhode Island Office of Postsecondary Education Commissioner (see page 59).
- Hate crimes and/or bias-related behaviors that result in damage to property, or abuse, harassment or intimidation of another person based on the perceived or actual religion, ethnicity, race, national origin, disability, veteran status, sex, gender, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation. Violations that meet the state definition of a hate crime may be referred to local law enforcement agencies. Bias-related incidents that are not breaches of college policies or state or federal law may be addressed using the mediation provisions of this code.
- Hazing, any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, that willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. This conduct shall include, but not be limited to, whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any brutal treatment or forced physical activity that is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student or any other person, or that subjects the student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
- Theft and vandalism, attempted or actual, of and/or damage to property of the college or property of a member of the college community or other personal or public property.
- Failure to comply with directions of college officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
- Unauthorized access to any college premises or unauthorized entry to or use of college premises; unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys or access cards.
- Violation of college policies, rules or regulations as published in print or online or distributed electronically. Also, violations of federal, state or local laws, on college premises or at college-sponsored or supervised activities.
- Use, possession or distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law.
- Use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by the law and college regulations, or public intoxication.
- Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons or dangerous chemicals on college premises.
- Retaliation, physical or through intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination against a complainant, respondent, witness, reporting party or any participant involved (or believed to be involved) in a disciplinary investigation or process, directly or through others acting on your behalf.
- Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on college premises or at college-sponsored or supervised functions. The use of recreational conveyances, motorized or otherwise, is prohibited in the buildings and sidewalks. This includes, but is not limited to skateboards, bicycles, scooters and hover boards.
- Disorderly conduct that is, lewd or indecent; breaches the peace; or aiding, abetting or procuring another person to breach the peace on college premises or at functions sponsored by or participated in by the college.
- Theft or other abuse of computer time, including but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or college official.Use of computing facilities to view or send obscene or abusive messages.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the college computing system.
- Any breach of computer ethics.
- Abuse of the disciplinary system or other process including the Sexual Misconduct
Policy, including but not limited to:
- Failure to obey the summons of a conduct hearing board or college official.
- Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information to a college official, college investigator, Campus Police or before a conduct hearing board.
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a meeting of a conduct hearing board.
- Institution of the disciplinary process knowingly without cause.
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the disciplinary process.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a college official or member of a conduct hearing board prior to and/or during the course of a hearing.
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a conduct hearing board prior to, during and/or after a hearing and/or of a college official during the disciplinary process.
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by a college hearing board or hearing officer under the Student Conduct Code.
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the disciplinary process.
Section C. No-Tolerance Behavior
- There is no tolerance for the following types of misconduct:
- Sexual misconduct
- Possession of a weapon
- Conduct that is classified as a hate crime
- Behavior related to any of these types of misconduct may result in suspension or expulsion from the college. Formal complaints must be adjudicated by a student conduct hearing board, not an administrative hearing officer except as otherwise provided for by college or Council on Postsecondary Education policy or process.
Section D. Violation of Law and College Discipline
- If a student is charged only with an off-campus violation of federal, state or local laws but not with any other violations of this code, disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed for grave misconduct that demonstrates flagrant disregard for the college community. In such cases, no sanction may be imposed unless the student has been found guilty in a court of law or has declined to contest such charges, although not actually admitting guilt (e.g., “no contest” or “nolo contendere”). However, the college may conduct a review to determine if the student poses a danger to the community through the established Threat Assessment process and enact recommendations made through that process up to, and including, temporary suspension.
- College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with a violation of law that is also a violation of this Student Conduct Code. An example of this would be if both violations result from the same factual situation, without regard to the pendency of civil litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Conduct Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus.
- When federal, state or local authorities charge a student with a violation of law, the college will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also the subject of a proceeding before a disciplinary body that is a component of the Student Conduct Code, the college may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Student Conduct Code and of how such matters will be handled internally within the college community. The college will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators. Individual students and faculty members, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they deem appropriate.
Section A. Charges and Hearings
- Any member of the college community may file a complaint against a student for misconduct. Complaints shall be prepared in writing and directed to the Dean of Students Office. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event has taken place, preferably within 10 academic days. Complaints of sexual misconduct should be made, and shall proceed, pursuant to the RIOPC Title IX Policy and Complaint Procedure (see page 59).
- The Dean of Students Office will hold a preliminary interview to determine if the charges have merit and/or if they can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the college. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the matter will be referred to a student conduct hearing board.
- All charges shall be presented to the accused student in written form. A time shall be set for a hearing, no less than four (4) or more than 10 business days after the respondent’s initial interview. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the dean of students with required notification of the parties involved.
- The student conduct hearing board shall hold hearings. During breaks or at other times
when a conduct hearing board cannot be convened, hearings may be conducted by an administrative
hearing officer acting as chairperson and board.
- Hearings shall be conducted in private.
- Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the student conduct hearing board chair and/or a conduct hearing officer.
- In hearings involving more than one respondent, the chairperson of the student conduct hearing board, at his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
- The complainant and the respondent have the right to be assisted by any adviser they choose. The complainant and/or the respondent is responsible for presenting his or her case and, therefore, advisers are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a student conduct hearing board.
- In cases involving sexual misconduct, hate crimes or non-sexual harassment, both the complainant and the respondent may request that steps be taken to provide testimony in a manner that does not require being in the physical presence of the other as long as such steps do not deny either party access to the information presented by the parties.
- The complainant and the respondent shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses with relevant information regarding the charge(s), subject to the right of questioning only by a student conduct hearing board. Neither the complainant nor the respondent may question witnesses or each other. Questions may be directed to the chair of the student conduct hearing board by the complainant or respondent.
- The student conduct hearing board, at the discretion of the chairperson, may accept pertinent records, exhibits and written statements as evidence for consideration.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the student conduct hearing board.
- After the hearing, a student conduct hearing board shall determine and notify the dean of students within two (2) academic days of the hearing (by majority vote) whether the student has violated each section of the Student Conduct Code that the student is charged with violating.
- A student conduct hearing board’s determination shall be made on the basis of the preponderance of evidence standard, i.e. the greater weight of the evidence demonstrates that the respondent violated the Student Conduct Code.
- No student may be found to have violated the Student Conduct Code solely because the student failed to appear before a hearing board. In all cases, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.
- Only the respondent is notified of the outcome and the sanction of a conduct hearing board. The complainant will be informed of the decision of the board, but not the details of any sanction except in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct or otherwise provided for by law. In these cases, both complainant and the accused will be notified of the decision in full and concurrently.
- In such circumstances where a student is served with a no-trespass order by Campus Police as a matter of public safety, Campus Police shall file a complaint with the Dean of Students Office (in the format required by that office) within one business day in order to process the complaint through the established student conduct process.
Section B. Interim Measures
- 1. Emergency suspension – In certain circumstances, the vice president for Student Affairs, at the recommendation
of the Threat Assessment Committee, may impose a college suspension prior to the hearing
before a student conduct hearing board. It may be imposed:
- i)To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the college community or preservation of college property;
- ii)To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
- iii)If the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with normal operations of the college.
- During the emergency suspension, students shall be denied access to the campus (including classes) and/or all other college activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the vice president for Student Affairs or his/her designee may determine to be appropriate. In some circumstances, the college may request a psychiatric evaluation from a licensed mental health professional as a condition of return. Notification of the student’s faculty and limited notification of key college departments will be made.
- 2. No-contact directive – In certain circumstances, the dean of students may impose a no-contact directive prior to the hearing before a student conduct hearing board when the charge is non-sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, or there is reason to believe that negative contact could occur and impact the student conduct hearing. The college-issued and binding directive is to have no contact with a specified person or persons. This includes physical contact, in-person communication, written communication, electronic forms of communication, the enlisting of third parties to communicate on your behalf, and public postings and declarations intended to send implicit messages to the specified person or persons. All efforts will be made to avoid directing a student to stop attending a classes or classes prior to a hearing board’s decision, and, if necessary, assistance will be given to the student to continue in his or her classwork to the extent possible.
- 3. Removal from course section or activity – In certain circumstance, the dean of students may temporarily remove a student from a section of a course if his or her continued presence in the section will create a situation in which the expected teaching and learning process will be disrupted. This may include, but is not limited to, personal behaviors in the classroom, allegations of sexual misconduct, or interpersonal disputes with the instructor or fellow classmates that cannot be avoided.
- 4. Administrative holds - An administrative hold may be applied to a student’s account at the discretion of the Dean of Students Office prior to adjudication of charges if a student refuses to or fails to respond to charges brought against him or her. Holds are to be lifted upon meeting with designated staff and are not an indication of actual responsibility for said charges.
Section C. Sanctions
- The following, as well as other appropriate sanctions, may be imposed upon any student
found to have violated the Student Conduct Code:
- Warning – A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
- Probation – A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
- Loss of privileges – Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time. This may include limitations on a student’s right to access parts or all of a facility in cases where the student conduct hearing board believes contact between two parties would be detrimental to one or both of the students or that it is in the college’s best interests.
- Fines – Previously established and published fines may be imposed. Fines posted below.
- Restitution – Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Discretionary sanctions – Work assignments, service to the college, educational assignments or other related discretionary assignments (Such assignments must have the approval of the dean of students.)
- No-contact directive – A college-issued and binding directive to have no contact with a specified person or persons. This includes physical contact, in-person communication, written communication, electronic forms of communication, the enlisting of third parties to communicate on your behalf, and public postings and declarations intended to send implicit messages to the specified person or persons.
- Removal from course – when a student repeatedly disrupts a classroom learning environment and does not respond to faculty efforts to address the behavior, a faculty member may request a student be permanently removed from the classroom without grade or refund. This sanction may only be imposed permanently by a conduct hearing board. A student may remain in the classroom pending the decision of the hearing board, unless determined to be a continuing disruption by the dean of students.
- College suspension – Separation of the student from the college for a defined period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission, including a reinstatement review by the associate vice president, may be specified. In some circumstances, the college may request a psychiatric evaluation from a licensed mental health professional as a condition of return. Notification of the student’s faculty and limited notification of key college departments will be made.
- College expulsion – Permanent separation of the student from the college. This sanction only may be imposed by a student conduct hearing board.
- More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
- Other than college expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Upon graduation, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than college suspension or college expulsion upon application to the Dean of Students Office. Disciplinary records shall be destroyed six years after the date of the incident that led to the initiation of disciplinary action.
- The following, as well as other sanctions, may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
- Those sanctions listed above in Section C 1, except suspension or expulsion.
- Deactivation – Loss of all privileges, including college recognition, for a specified period of time.
- In each case in which the student conduct hearing board determines that a student has violated the Student Conduct Code, the sanction(s) shall be determined by that board and imposed by the Dean of Students Office.
Section D. Schedule of Fines
The following fines may be imposed only after an admission of responsibility from the respondent or a finding of responsibility by a student conduct hearing board or hearing officer.
|Violation of the Smoking Policy||$50 (first offense); $75 (subsequent offenses)|
|Failure to evacuate during an alarm||$150 (each offense)|
|Failure to comply||$75 (each offense)|
|Obstruction of traffic/movement||$100 (each offense)|
Section E. Appeal of Conduct Process Decisions
- A decision reached or a sanction imposed by a student conduct hearing board may be appealed by the respondents(s) or complainant(s) to the vice president for Student Affairs within five (5) business days of receiving the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Student Affairs Office
- An appeal shall be limited to review of the original hearing and the supporting documents
for one or more of the following purposes:
- To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Student Conduct Code was violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.
- To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on a preponderance of evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Conduct Code occurred.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Conduct Code that the student was found to have committed.
- To consider new evidence or other relevant facts 1) not brought out in the original hearing, and 2) sufficient to alter a decision, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing or investigation.
- Appeals are accepted if there is sufficient evidence to meet any of the above criteria and it can be demonstrated by the party requesting the appeal that the factor being appealed made a material difference in the determination of responsibility or the sanction imposed. If the vice president for Student Affairs upholds an appeal, he or she may rule directly on the matter or the case may be remanded back to the original student conduct hearing board or administrative hearing officer with specific instructions for reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanction(s).
- In cases involving appeals by students accused of violating the Student Conduct Code, review of the sanction by the vice president for Student Affairs may not result in more severe sanction(s) for the accused student. Instead, following an appeal, the vice president for Student Affairs, upon review of the case, may reduce but not increase the sanctions imposed by the student conduct hearing board or remand the case to the original hearing officer or hearing board.
- In cases involving appeals by complainants, the vice president for Student Affairs upon review of the case may reduce or increase the sanctions imposed by the student conduct hearing board or remand the case to the original hearing officer or hearing board.
- Alternatively, once a student has exhausted the internal complaint or grievance processes,
he or she may choose to utilize the complaint process overseen by the Council on Postsecondary
Education and the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner or “equivalent governing
board” in compliance with the Federal Program Integrity Rule. The specific types of
complaints covered by these regulations are:
- Allegations of state consumer protection violations, including, but not limited to fraud and false advertising;
- Allegations that state laws or rules addressing the licensure of postsecondary institutions have been violated; and
- Allegations regarding the quality of education or other accreditation requirements.
For more information and details on how to file a program integrity complaint, visit the Council on Postsecondary Education and the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner “or equivalent governing board” website at https://www.riopc.edu.
The college shall have jurisdiction over student conduct that occurs on campus property or in connection with college functions and affairs. The college also shall have discretion to exercise jurisdiction over conduct that occurs off campus and that would violate student conduct and discipline policies or regulations if the conduct occurred on campus when (1) the alleged misconduct indicates the student may be a threat to the safety or security of members of the college community or college property, functions or facilities; or (2) the alleged misconduct involves academic work or any records, documents or identifications of the college.
Specifically, the college may choose to exercise jurisdiction over off-campus incidents where the alleged misconduct involves:
- Sexual misconduct
- Possession or use of weapons, explosives or destructive devices
- Manufacture, sale or distribution of controlled substances
- Hate crimes
- Conduct that would constitute felony burglary, robbery, theft, etc.
Students involved in any of these offenses are subject to suspension or expulsion from the college.
In compliance with the Clery Act, the community college reports all complaints that fall under the purview of the laws in its annual Clery Report. As such, reporting to confidential reporters (see Page 26) can be allowed, but all reported incidents are included in the college Clery statistics, even if a complainant does not seek action by the college. The inclusion of the information in the annual Clery Report will be for statistical purposes only and will not include the names of the parties.
Those affected by sexual violence (rape, fondling, dating/domestic violence, stalking) will receive a written notice of their rights and options for academic, working and related accommodation, as well as information on resources on and off campus for advocacy, legal support, medical and psychological care, and visa and immigration assistance.
- Any question of interpretation regarding the Student Conduct Code shall be referred to the dean of students.
- The Student Conduct Code shall be reviewed every three years under the direction of the dean of students. Updates to remain compliant with state and federal regulations and laws shall occur annually. All changes will be reviewed by the Student Advisory Council before final approval by general counsel and the President’s Council.