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|POLICY/OPERATIONAL PROCEDURE NAME:
Student Code of Conduct
Dr. Christine Kelly-Kleese,
Vice President, Student Engagement, Development, and Support
Student Engagement, Development, and Support
|NEXT REVIEW DATE:
SACSCOC CS 3.9.1
Durham Technical Community College has an obligation to maintain a safe and orderly educational environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The intent of the Student Code of Conduct is to protect the rights and safety of all individuals on campus.
Whenever possible, one goal of any disciplinary action at Durham Tech is to teach a student what is appropriate in the educational setting and to provide students with an opportunity to learn behaviors that will contribute to their success in their future work/life environment. Generally, the purpose of disciplinary action is to end the behavior rather than end the student’s educational opportunity. Since Durham Tech’s core values promote “an engaging, collegial atmosphere with professional, ethical, and respectful interactions that enhance learning,” members of our campus community will not tolerate behaviors that are not aligned with these values. Thus, this policy strives to balance the College's values and the student’s goal of becoming a more educated citizen in such a way that honors both.
Disruptive Behaviors Definition
Disruptive behaviors are defined as behaviors that persistently or grossly disrupt the educational process or functioning of the College and negatively impact others within the learning environment. While not an exhaustive list of disruptive behaviors, specific violations of the Student Code of Conduct include the following:
Durham Technical Community College is a Learning College, which means that we recognize that opportunities to learn can occur both inside and outside of the classroom. When disruptive behavior occurs, faculty and staff should provide students with information about the consequences of the behavior. Disruptive behaviors should be addressed with the first incident rather than after a series of incidents.
Behavior that persistently or grossly disrupts the educational process or functioning of the College may result in disciplinary action whether it occurs on campus, online, or at a college-sponsored activity. Off-campus behavior that may indicate an articulable, imminent, and significant safety threat to the College may also be considered in applying sanctions based on the Student Code of Conduct. Violations of this code of conduct may result in immediate sanctions, including probation, suspension, or expulsion from the College. Additionally, the College may defer imposition of sanctions pending the outcome of an investigation.
The following section describes sanctions available to designated College Officials (see definitions below) in response to violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The listing is not inclusive of all options the Officials may choose to exercise, and more than one sanction may be imposed for a single act of misconduct. The Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support (hereafter referred to as “Vice President”) will maintain the record regarding any sanctions imposed.
A. Reprimand: A written or oral communication which gives official notice to the student that any subsequent offense against the Student Code of Conduct will carry heavier penalties because of this prior infraction.
B. General Probation: General Probation has two important implications: the individual is given a chance to show capability and willingness to observe the Student Code of Conduct without further penalty, and, if the individual errs again, further action will be taken. Continued enrollment of a student on probation may be conditioned upon adherence to specified terms.
C. Restrictive Probation: Restrictive Probation results in loss of good standing and becomes a matter of record in the student's file. Restrictive conditions may limit activity in the College community, including possible exclusion from classes, programs, and/or specific campus locations. Generally, the individual will not be eligible for initiation into any local or national organization sanctioned by the College and may not receive any college award or other honorary recognition. The individual may not occupy a position of leadership or responsibility with any college or student organization, publication, or activity. Any violation of Restrictive Probation may result in immediate Suspension.
D. Reduction in Grade: Imposed as a result of academic dishonesty. Durham Tech’s policy is that students who engage in any form of academic misconduct receive a zero on the assignment. A second occurrence of academic misconduct will result in the dismissal of the student from the class with a failing grade. A third occurrence of academic misconduct may result in a recommendation of suspension or expulsion from the College. See the College's Academic Integrity and Plagiarism policy for more detail.
E. Withholding Transcript, Diploma, or Right to Register or Participate in Graduation Ceremonies: Imposed when financial obligations are not met. The student will not be allowed to register until all financial obligations are met.
F. Group Probation: This sanction is given to a college organization for a specified period. If group violations are repeated while probation is in effect, the charter may be revoked or activities restricted.
G. Group Charter Revocation: Removal of college recognition for a group, club, society, or other organization for a minimum of two years. Re-charter after that time must be approved by the President.
H. Loss of Technology Privileges: Exclusion from all privileges associated with college technology access, including but not limited to email and network access and storage.
I. Interim Suspension: As a general rule, the status of a student accused of violations of the Student Code of Conduct should not be altered until a final determination is made regarding the charges against him or her. However, interim suspension may be imposed upon a finding that the continued presence of the accused student on campus constitutes a threat to the safety and well-being of the accused student or any other member of the College community or its guests, or that the continued presence of the student on campus creates a risk of disruption of classroom or other college-related activities. Interim suspension may result in exclusion from class and/or other privileges including presence on college property or college-sponsored activities until a final decision has been made concerning the alleged violation.
Upon invoking interim suspension, the College Official will file a written report to the Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support, including the individual(s) involved and the nature of the infraction(s). This report should be filed as soon as possible but no more than two working days following the incident. Consult the procedures below for details on subsequent steps in the process. In the event an investigation is conducted that leads to a conclusion that a student’s continued presence on campus is not a threat to self or others, or in the event the investigation does not lead to a conclusion that a violation has in fact occurred, the College will implement a plan for the suspended student to make up missed academic work, and the student will not be penalized for absences in class.
the College accepts no responsibility for the actions of partner organizations that may host or deliver instructional activities. Partner organizations (e.g., clinical sites) have the full and exclusive right to deny access to any individual for violations of their particular rules and regulations. In the event a student is denied access to a location where instructional activity is scheduled, the College is under no obligation to make alternate arrangements for that student.
J. Suspension: Exclusion from all college privileges and activities for a specified period of time. This sanction is reserved for offenses warranting discipline more severe than probation or for repeated misconduct. This sanction may be imposed only by the Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support. Students who receive this sanction may also be prohibited from returning to campus property without specific written permission from the Vice President.
K. Expulsion: Removing student status and dismissing a student from the College permanently. This sanction may be imposed only by the President.
An expelled student or an individual who has been trespassed may not enter college premises at any time in the absence of written permission from a College Official. A suspended or expelled student must contact the Durham Tech Chief of Police (or designee) before entering the College campus or participating in any college-sponsored event.
Violation of Federal, State, or Local Law
If a student is convicted or pleads guilty to an off-campus violation of federal, state, or local law, but not with any other violation of the Student Code of Conduct, disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed for misconduct that is detrimental to the College's stated mission and purpose. Disciplinary sanctions may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a law that is also a violation of the Student Code of Conduct if both violations result from the same factual situation, without regard to criminal arrest and/or prosecution. Proceedings under the Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following criminal proceedings. the College will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators.
The following procedures are followed in situations when students demonstrate behaviors within the learning environment, whether in the classroom (physical or virtual), in common areas, or at college-sponsored activities, that are disruptive to the learning process. If the disruption is a matter of academic integrity or plagiarism, consult the Academic Integrity and Plagiarism policy.
The faculty or staff member first attempts to address an incident of disruptive behavior with the student as part of managing the classroom (physical or virtual) or the common area (hereafter the word “area” will be used to indicate either the classroom or common area) through a private conversation or communication with the student. If a student does not comply with the faculty or staff member’s directive to cease the behavior or to discuss in private or if a student escalates the disruption, the College employee is advised to take one of the following actions:
If a faculty or staff member has determined that a college police officer or security staff member must be called to report a student, this action will signify that the student is not able to manage his or her behavior. Campus police will issue a citation to the student. At this point, the student will have two working days from the date of notice to make an appointment with the Vice President, as noted on the citation. If the student does not make the appointment within two working days, a default status of Interim Suspension is assumed until the student meets with the Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support, as noted on the citation. The student is responsible for setting up the appointment with the Vice President. The directions for making an appointment are detailed on the citation.
The Campus Police and Public Safety office will initiate an investigation within two working days, including interviewing appropriate witnesses and gathering signed statements. While the duration of the investigation may be dependent upon student and witness availability, the expectation is it will take no longer than seven working days to complete; however, the complexity of a particular case may warrant an extension of the timeframe. Copies of the citation and witness statements will be provided to the Director of Campus Police and Public Safety and the Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support.
Authority to Require Students to Appear
Campus police or security officers, the vice president, president, or their designees may require any student to appear for an interview or to give a written statement. Failure to assist these administrators in this manner may subject the student to disciplinary action for failure to comply with a College Official. Further, a disciplinary hold may be placed on the student’s class attendance, re-enrollment, or educational records for any student failing to comply with this request for an interview or for a written statement.
Action upon Completion of Investigation and Written Charges
After reviewing all documents related to the completed investigation, within five working days, the Vice President (or designee) may dismiss the complaint, refer the matter to the College Care Team, call for a hearing, determine that the complaint is supported by reliable evidence and impose sanctions, or call a meeting of the College's Threat Assessment Team to provide counsel in the determination of final sanctions. If a student has been issued a citation, the default status of Interim Suspension may be upheld or altered at this time.
After the student has met with the Vice President (or designee) and a decision has been made, the student will be provided a letter reiterating the charge and the terms of the sanction imposed. The Vice President will notify Campus Police and Public Safety personnel and the initiator of the complaint about the decision. If the student does not meet with the Vice President as directed, final sanctions will be determined in the absence of the student’s response to the complaint, and the student will be sent a letter as stated above.
Charges and Elements of Due Process
The student will initially be provided information about the nature of the violation via the citation form issued by Campus Police and Public Safety personnel. The student may also contact the College's Director of Campus Police and Public Safety to request additional information. Students are allowed to request that a counselor from Student Development act as an advocate on his or her behalf throughout this process. To ensure that rights to due process are preserved, the following essential elements are available to the student, depending on the nature of the violation:
If the Vice President (or designee) hears the matter, he or she may immediately adjudicate the matter based on witness statements, witness appearances, and the statements and appearances of the charging party and the student charged. Based on the evidence, within five working days, the Vice President may dismiss the charges; may, based on reliable evidence, invoke one or more of sanctions A through J listed in the Student Code of Conduct: Possible Sanctions section of this document; may recommend a sanction of expulsion to the President; or may reserve a ruling until after reviewing a recommendation made by a disciplinary committee.
If the Vice President refers adjudication of the matter to a disciplinary committee, the Vice President will notify the President in writing and will, within three working days, appoint a disciplinary committee and the chair who will serve as the hearing examiner. The Dean of Student Development and Support (or designee) will convene the disciplinary committee, coordinate the meeting, and assist in writing the summary and final recommendation. The committee shall consist of one faculty member, one administrator, and one student. Members will be chosen in consultation with the President, taking into consideration the facts of the case and potential conflicts of interest.
The disciplinary committee will conduct a careful and thorough review of all the facts related to the alleged offense. On the basis of the review, the student may be absolved of the charge or be found to have violated a specific college rule or regulation. Recommended disciplinary action, decided by a two-thirds vote of the committee membership, may involve all or any combination of the sanctions previously detailed.
The disciplinary committee will complete its work within five working days of appointment and make a recommendation to the Vice President within two working days after completion of the hearing. The committee will provide a summary of witness statements, the facts, and the proposed sanction, if any, to the Vice President. Upon receipt of the witness statements, summary of fact, and proposed sanction (if any), the Vice President shall review the information received and reach a determination. Final disciplinary action will be established by the Vice President, who will communicate this information in writing to the student and the president within five working days.
Students who are enrolled in online courses or distance education programs may request that meetings be conducted by alternate arrangement. Meetings may be held with students or employees attending in person at the specified location, with students or employees attending the meeting by electronic means such as a conference telephone call, or by a combination of students or employees attending in person or by electronic means.
Appeals Procedure for Vice President’s Adjudication
A decision of the Vice President for Student Engagement, Development, and Support may be appealed to the President. The student must make the appeal in writing, and the President’s office must receive the student’s written appeal within five working days after the decision of the Vice President. The President will review the written record, reach a determination on the appeal, and communicate his/her decision to the student in writing.
Appeals Procedure for Expulsion
If a student under eighteen years of age engages in misconduct or is dismissed, suspended, placed on disciplinary probation, or otherwise disciplined, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of that student may be notified in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The Dean of Student Development and Support will be notified to alert appropriate college offices (e.g., Student Information and Records, Student Financial Aid) regarding the actions staff need to take in response to the decision regarding the student. Students who are suspended or expelled will have a notation on their electronic record to refer them to a College Official, will be withdrawn from their current courses, and will have their college email account closed, if applicable.
Disruptive Behavior: Reporting
Any member of the College community may file a Disruptive Behavior concern with the Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support (or designee) against any student or student organization for violations of the College Code of Conduct. When a student organization is charged with a violation, the student organization's officers and faculty sponsor will represent the organization for purposes of carrying out disciplinary procedures. The individual(s) raising the concern may submit an online form or provide a letter including the information listed below:
Some individuals may exhibit behaviors that interfere with their academic, career, or personal success but the behavior is not disruptive, as defined in this document. Examples of behaviors of concern might include frequent class absences, difficulty adjusting to college life, falling asleep in class, changes in appearance or personal hygiene, or moodiness, for example. Often faculty and staff members can help students exhibiting such behaviors by asking questions, listening, and making a referral for assistance. Individuals wishing to report a Behavior of Concern may submit an online form or provide details of the concern to the Assistant Dean, Student Development, Communications, and Activities.
Support and Interventions
Within five working days after the concern is received, the Vice President (or designee) will review the concerns and request that the Director/Chief of Campus Police and Public Safety conduct an investigation, if necessary. Based on the nature of the concern and documentation gathered in the investigation, they will determine whether to take action, refer the matter to the Care Team, or move the matter to the Threat Assessment Team.
Care Team and Threat Assessment Team
Member placement on these teams is based on positions held within the College, the nature of support needed for particular students, and expertise or credentials held by an employee.
A care team will be convened under the discretion of the Director, Counseling and Student Life. The team may include any of the following positions, as needed to support each particular student in need of a care-team approach:
Meet as necessary to review student behavior perceived to indicate that a student may be in need of support and make referrals to internal support services or to community agencies; recommend potential additional support strategies; and monitor student progress.
The care team may decide to take any of the following actions:
A Threat Assessment Team is called together whenever a member of the College community reports a potential threat to the safety of members of the College community. The team’s ideal composition should be limited to a few individuals to protect confidential information yet ensure a diverse and informed assessment. The Threat Assessment Team typically consists of three (3) or four (4) individuals, depending on the nature of the perceived threat, with one (1) representative from each of the following areas:
Consult, as needed, to review student behavior perceived to be potentially dangerous to self or others or that poses a safety concern within the campus community and recommend appropriate action.
The Threat Assessment Team may decide to take any of the following actions:
In the event of an alleged sexual assault or harassment, the complaint will be moved to the College's Title IX Coordinator for investigation. View details in the College's Sexual Misconduct/Title IX page.
College Official – Chief of Police, Assistant/Associate Vice President, Vice President, or President
Working Days – Days the College is open and operating under a normal schedule. This excludes weekends, closings due to weather conditions, and holidays observed by Durham Tech
Disruptive Behavior (defined in document above)
Harassment* – severe and pervasive behavior that negatively affects another’s access to an educational opportunity or other college benefit (*Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. (1999) Articulable – capable of being expressed, explained or justified
Imminent – impending, likely to occur at any moment
Significant – considerable, of consequence