Student Code of Conduct Last Updated: August 2023
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 1 Introduction 2 College Values Statement 2 I. Responsibility for Implementation 3 II. Jurisdiction & Scope 3 III. Definitions 4 IV. Violations 7 V. Interim Administrative Action 14 VI. Student Conduct Process 16 VII. Sanctions 23 VIII. Conduct Process for Non-Title IX Covered Sexual Misconduct 24 IX. Appeals 32 X. Special Provisions Governing Acts of Academic Dishonesty 34 XI. Special Provisions Governing Acts of Classroom Disruption 34 XII. Student Disciplinary Files and Student Records 34
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 2 INTRODUCTION Westchester Community College looks to students to engage in activities that promote individual growth, demonstrate civility toward others, and builds community through the safe, respectful exchange of diverse thought and opinion. To maintain the trust extended by the College, students are expected to exhibit personal accountability and remember that the decisions they make have an impact on the overall health of our community, and, ultimately, on the quality of their experience. Students assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the college’s academic standards; general policies; local, state and federal law; and the Student Code of Conduct. Behavior that adversely affects the student’s responsible membership in the college community shall result in appropriate disciplinary action. The College will not tolerate any interference with the rights of any member of our college community, any defacement of college property or any disruption of any authorized college function. The Student Code of Conduct sets standards for behavior, provides a student-centered disciplinary process, maintains compliance with the provisions of Article 129-A and Article 129-B of the education law of the State of New York, and offers sanctions that foster ethical development, personal accountability and civility toward others. In addition, the Student Code of Conduct embraces several core philosophies: (1) protecting the rights of community members, including, but not limited to the freedom of speech and the right of peaceable assembly; (2) creating an environment that is conducive to learning, including respect for academic freedom and constructive criticism; (3) maintaining the safety and well-being of the community and its members and the conviction that honesty and integrity are key values of community; and (4) the belief that all members of the institution should be part of an inclusive campus environment that respects differences of culture, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, race, age, and ability. COLLEGE VALUES STATEMENT 1. To better ourselves and our relationships, we are committed to • Personal Excellence – Promote life-long learning, academic growth and intellectual development. • Respect – Support an environment of open, honest and collegial communication. • Integrity – Expect personal accountability through ethical behavior. 2. To better our community and collective efforts, we are committed to • Collaboration – Work together on the achievement of a common goal. • Civic Engagement – Advance active involvement in the life of the community. • Innovation – Encourage and empower a creative environment. 3. To better our society and our world, we are committed to • Diversity – Foster an inclusive community through acceptance and understanding. • Environmental Sustainability – Protect, preserve, and conserve resources for the future. • Empathy – Respond to each other’s views and opinions without judgement.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 3 SECTION I: Responsibility for Implementation Overall management and administration of the Student Code of Conduct is the responsibility of the Director of Student Support Services. Any question of interpretation regarding the Student Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Director of Student Support Services or their designee for final determination. SECTION II: Jurisdiction & Scope The Student Code of Conduct applies for all students through the application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree. This includes conduct that occurs: (1) during the academic year, before classes begin or after classes end; (2) during time pursuing credit away from campus (internships, study abroad, practical/clinical placements, etc.); (3) during periods between terms of actual enrollment; and/or (4) while on leave from the College; A student who withdraws from the College shall not be exempt from disciplinary proceedings for behavioral infractions which took place prior to withdrawal. Campus disciplinary procedures as described in this Student Code of Conduct may proceed with the accused student even if the student has withdrawn from the College. Should suspension or expulsion take place as a result of the disciplinary process, these sanctions supersede a withdrawal from the College. If a student has completed degree requirements and is charged with a violation prior to graduation or the conferral of the degree, the student will be ineligible to graduate until student conduct action on the case is completed and eligibility to graduate is confirmed. If the student conduct action results in suspension, the student will be ineligible to graduate until the term of the suspension has been served. In addition, the College will have jurisdiction over student misconduct that occurs on College premises, rented facilities, at College-sponsored activities, electronically/online, and/or off-campus. Off-campus criminal offenses that violate the Student Code of Conduct may be subject to college disciplinary action. This disciplinary action may occur concurrently while a student is facing criminal charges; the charges are pending; have been reduced or have been dismissed. It is the obligation of every student to notify the Director of Student Support Services of any felony or misdemeanor arrests occurring at any time after the student is admitted to the College through graduation or separation from the institution, regardless of geographic location of the arrest or specific crime alleged.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 4 SECTION III: Definitions The following selected terms are defined in an effort to facilitate a more thorough understanding of the Student Code of Conduct. Certain definitions have been adapted from Section 6439 NYS Education Law Article 129-B. 1. Accused: a person accused of a violation who has not yet entered the college’s conduct process. 2. Affirm Consent to Sexual Activity, Active Consent or Affirmative Consent: is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. (Section 6441 Education Law Article 129-B) (i) Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act. (ii) Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. (iii) Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. (iv) Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent. (v) Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm. (vi) When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop. 3. Dean of Student Life: refers to the Deputy Chief Student Affairs Officer of the College. This individual and/or their designee(s) coordinates the appeal processes and, for students on suspension seeking to return to the college, the readmission request process. 4. Business day: any day, Monday through Friday, which the college is open. 5. Bystander: shall mean a person who observes a crime, impending crime, conflict, potentially violent or violent behavior, or conduct that is in violation of rules or policies of an institution. 6. Campus or College property: all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the College, either solely or in conjunction with another entity. 7. Calendar day: any day, Monday through Sunday. 8. College official: any person employed by Westchester Community College, the WCC Faculty Student Association, or WCC Foundation to perform administrative, instructional, or professional duties. 9. College or Institution: shall mean Westchester Community College. 10. Complainant: Any member of the college community who has filed and/or presenting disciplinary charges against a student.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 5 11. Designee: an administrator, staff or faculty member who has responsibility for implementing the student conduct process or administering the student conduct system, in part or in whole. 12. Director of Student Support Services: refers to the person and/or their designee or designees who is responsible for the overall coordination of the College student conduct system, including the development of policies, procedures, and education/training programs. In addition, this individual may serve as a Hearing Officer, Hearing Chair, Student Conduct Officer and/or as a Complainant. 13. Hearing Chair: an individual employed by the Westchester Community College, the WCC Faculty Student Association, or WCC Foundation who is authorized to lead or facilitate the proceedings of a Hearing. Subject to the provision in this code, a Hearing Officer is vested with the authority to, among other duties, conduct a hearing; remove participants from a Hearing; etc. 14. Hearing Officer: an individual employed by the Westchester Community College, the WCC Faculty Student Association, or WCC Foundation who is authorized to determine the appropriate resolution of an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct, and/or to recommend sanctions or affect other remedies as appropriate. Subject to the provision in this code, a Hearing Officer is vested with the authority to, among other duties, conduct and/or participate in a hearing; determine outcomes to charges; recommend sanctions; and/or serve as a Complainant in a Hearing. 15. Member of the College community: includes any person who is a student, instructor, or College staff member; any other person working for the College, either directly or indirectly (e.g., private enterprise on campus); or any person who resides on College premises. A person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Director of Student Support Services. 16. Reporting Individual: shall encompass the terms victim, survivor, complainant, claimant, witness with victim status, and any other term used by the college to reference an individual who brings forth a report of misconduct, including reports of sexual misconduct. 17. Respondent: a person accused of a violation who has entered the college’s conduct process. 18. Sanction: a requirement or status that is imposed as a result of either accepting responsibility or being found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct. 19. Sexual activity: shall have the same meaning as “sexual act” and “sexual contact” as provided in 18 U.S.C. 2246(2) and 18 U.S.C. 2246(3). a. The term “sexual act” means: i. contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus and contact involving the penis occurs upon penetration, however slight; ii. contact between the mouth & penis, the mouth & vulva, or the mouth & anus; iii. the penetration, however slight, of the anal or genital opening of another by a hand or finger or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; or iv. the intentional touching, not through the clothing, of the genitalia of another person who has not attained the age of 16 years with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; b. The term “sexual contact” means the intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.”
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 6 20. Sexual Misconduct: means sexual harassment or sexual violence and encompasses a wide range of behavior for sexual purposes that is against another’s will or at the expense of another. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, or any conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual or has the effect of threatening or intimidating another. 21. Sexual Violence: Includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence, dating violence, intimate partner violence and stalking. 22. Student: any person, regardless of age, admitted, registered, enrolled, or attending any College course or College conducted program; any person admitted to the College who is on College premises or College-related premises for any purpose pertaining to their registration or enrollment. 23. Student Code of Conduct: the written policies adopted by the institution governing student behavior, rights, and responsibilities and the process by which violations are adjudicated and sanctioned. 24. Student Conduct Officer: an individual employed by the Westchester Community College, the WCC Faculty Student Association, or WCC Foundation who is authorized to determine the appropriate resolution of an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct, and/or to impose sanctions or affect other remedies as appropriate. Subject to the provision in this Code, a Student Conduct Officer is vested with the authority to, among other duties, investigate a complaint of an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct; decline to pursue a complaint; refer identified disputants to mediation or other appropriate resources; approve an administrative agreement developed with a Respondent; conduct an Administrative Conference; impose sanctions; and serve as a Complainant in a Hearing. 25. Student organization or student group: an association or group of persons that has complied with the formal requirements for College recognition by the Department of Student Involvement and/or the Student Government Association. 26. Support person or Advisor: any person who accompanies a Respondent or Reporting Individual for the limited purpose of providing support, advisement and guidance. A support person/advisor may not directly address the Hearing Officers, question witnesses, or otherwise actively participate in the student conduct process, but may speak privately with the advisee during the proceedings. 27. Title IX Coordinator: shall mean the Title IX Coordinator and/or their designee or designees.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 7 SECTION IV: Violations As members of the College community, students have an obligation to uphold the Student Code of Conduct as well as to obey federal, state, and local laws. The subsequent behaviors are subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct, but are not limited to the following infractions. A student or a group of students may be charged with any of the violations listed below. In cases where a violation is committed by an individual student, any other students not directly involved, but who participated in the activity by encouraging or condoning the act in any manner, will also be subject to disciplinary action. The College, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to report any possible criminal acts to appropriate law enforcement agencies. 1. Abuse of the Student Conduct System Abusing the Student Conduct System, including but not limited to: i. Failure to obey the summons of a Conduct Body or College official. ii. Failure to comply with sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code of Conduct. iii. Knowingly alleging a violation of the Student Code of Conduct without cause. iv. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the conduct system. v. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the conduct system. 2. Academic Dishonesty Conduct that includes, but is not limited to: plagiarism, cheating, multiple submission, forgery, sabotage, unauthorized collaboration, falsification, bribery or use of purchased research service reports without appropriate notation, and theft, damage, or misuse of library or computer resources. Attempts to commit such acts shall also constitute academic dishonesty. 3. Aiding & Abetting in Code Violations Aiding and abetting another in any violation of College policies, regulations and codes. 4. Compliance Failing to comply with the directions of an authorized local, state, federal or College official acting in the performance of their duties, or any other person responsible for a facility or registered function acting in accordance with their duties. 5. Destruction of Property Removing, destroying, or damaging College property, property under College administration/supervision, or the personal property of others. This includes attempted or actual damage to property. 6. Disruptive Conduct Unreasonable actions that impair, interfere with, or obstruct the orderly conduct, processes, functions or activities of the College or the community where the conduct occurs. This can include, but is not limited to:
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 8 a) leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any College owned or rented facility; b) intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus; c) participation in campus demonstrations which disrupt the normal operations of the College; and d) actions that infringe on the rights of other members of the College (i.e. excessive noise, abusive or obscene language in a public place, littering, or boisterous, indecent or threatening conduct which is unreasonable in the area, time or manner in which it occurs, etc.) 7. Drugs & Alcohol a. Possession The unlawful possession of alcohol, controlled substances or dangerous drugs. This includes possession of any alcohol, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs on college property or at college sponsored activities and events that has not been lawfully prescribed to oneself. This can include the possession of prescribed medication to someone other than oneself. b. Use The unlawful use of alcohol, substances, or dangerous drugs, including being under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or dangerous drugs on college property or at college sponsored activities and events. c. Distribution, Delivery, or Sale The unlawful distribution, delivery or sale of alcohol, controlled substances or dangerous drugs. This includes distribution of any alcohol, controlled substance, or dangerous drug on college property or at college sponsored activities that has not been lawfully prescribed to oneself. This can include the distribution of prescribed medication to someone other than oneself. d. Paraphernalia The possession, use or distribution of drug paraphernalia including, but not limited to: bongs, water pipes, or hypodermic needles that are not specifically required for the administration of prescribed medications. NOTE: Please also see the Good Samaritan Policy on page 13 of this document for more information about Drug & Alcohol violations. 8. Endangerment Acting to create or contribute to dangerous or unsafe environments anywhere on or offcampus, which can include reckless or intentional acts, which endanger, or put at risk, the welfare of oneself or others. 9. Fire and Safety Engaging in behavior that disrupts any fire and safety systems, procedures and policies. This can include, but is not limited to: a. damage to, removal of or tampering with any fire safety system, firefighting equipment or other emergency warning equipment; b. intentional or reckless burning or setting fire to any building or piece of property owned or controlled by the College;
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 9 c. failure to conform to safety regulations, failing to evacuate facilities in a timely fashion in an emergency situation or in response to fire alarms. 10. Forgery, Falsification, Fraud, & Dishonesty Knowingly providing false or incorrect information to any College official or misrepresenting yourself to the institution. This includes altering, possessing, distributing, selling or misusing false documents, records, transcripts, stored data or instrument identification. 11. Gambling Any unauthorized gambling on campus, including but not limited to participation in: games of chance, illegal lottery and policy for money or something of value; promoting or advancing gambling; gambling using College computing/network facilities; possessing gambling devices or gambling records. 12. Harassment Engaging in behavior that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s education program and/or activities, and creates an academic environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating or hostile. Activity protected by the First Amendment will not constitute harassment. Harassment may include: a) directing unwanted physical or verbal conduct at an individual based on one or more of that person’s protected characteristics or status, including age, color, race, disability, marital status, national/ethnic origin, religion, military/veteran’s status, sex [including pregnancy], gender expression or gender identity, sexual orientation, domestic violence victim status, criminal or arrest record, political activities or predisposing genetic characteristics; or b) subjecting a person or group of persons to unwanted physical contact or threat of such. 13. Hate or Bias-Related Incident/Crime Intentionally selecting a person against whom an offense is committed or intended to be committed or intentionally committing an act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, religious practice, age, physical or mental disabilities, including learning disabilities, and past/present history of a metal disorder, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct. 14. Hazing Any reckless or intentional conduct in connection with the initiation into, or affiliation with, any organization which degrades, humiliates or endangers the mental or physical health of any person, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. It can also include activities that damage, destroy or remove any public or private property. 15. Misuse of College Property Unauthorized possession, duplication, or misuse of College property or other personal or public property, including, but not limited to, records, electronic files, telecommunications systems, forms of identification, or any unauthorized use of the College’s hardware, software or network systems.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 10 This includes the public posting, selling of, or in any other way, distribution of notes of class lectures, course handouts and outlines, and/or any other College-supplied materials without the express written permission of the instructor. 16. Parking and Motor Vehicle Violations Violating college policies and regulations and/or local, state, or federal law governing the possession or use of motor vehicles. Violations can include, but are not limited to: i. Use of an unauthorized vehicle on campus ii. Failure to adhere to traffic regulations; iii. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. iv. Causing damage to College property or personal property while operating a motor vehicle. 17. Physical Harm or Violence Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm to any person or causing reasonable fear of such harm. Students cannot justify such behavior as defensive if: i. The behavior is a physical response to a verbal provocation. ii. The student has the ability to leave the situation, but instead chooses to respond physically iii. In circumstances where such actions are punitive or retaliatory. 18. Prohibited Recreational Activities The use or operation of rollerblades, skates, skateboards, hover boards, bicycles, and similar items inside College facilities. 19. Retaliation Engaging, directly or indirectly, in any action or attempting to harass, intimidate, retaliate against, or improperly influence any individual involved with the Student Conduct System. An intentional act taken against an individual who initiates any sexual misconduct complaint, including stalking of intimate partner violence, pursues legal recourse for such a complaint, or participants in any manner in the investigation of such a report. 20. Solicitation The disbursement of promotional/informational material on College property or on items or personal property on campus (i.e. motor vehicles), taking requests for donations, or the selling or vending of any merchandise or services without prior written consent from the appropriate College official. 21. Student Computer & Communications Technology Violating the College’s Student Computer & Communications Technology Use Policy which can be found http://www.sunywcc.edu/cms/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/WestchesterCommunity-College-Technology-Use-Policy-Student.pdf. 22. Student Group Violations Students are expected to know and abide by the policies and procedures governing their membership in a student club or organization. Prohibited conduct by officers/members of recognized student clubs and organizations may result in referral to the conduct process for
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 11 individual students. Full policies governing student groups can be found at www.sunywcc.edu/clubs. 23. Theft Stealing property and/or services; possessing stolen property. 24. Tobacco Use The use of tobacco products, vaping devices, electronic cigarettes, and other nicotine delivery devices in any College facility or outdoor area. 25. Unauthorized Entry or Use Entering or using College facilities or property on or off college premises, belonging to individuals, College recognized groups, and/or corporate entities without proper authorization. 26. Violations committed by guests, friends, or family members Any violations to the code committed by guests, friends, or family members invited to the campus, on a college sponsored trip, or on behalf of a student. Students are responsible for informing their guests, friends or family members about campus regulations and conduct policies. Therefore, any behavior can be sanctioned if that third party violates the Student Code of Conduct. 27. Weapons, Firearms, Explosives & Other Dangerous Objects Possessing or using any object or substance designed to inflict a wound, cause injury, or incapacitate, including, but not limited to, all firearms, switchblade knives, knives with blades five or more inches in length, explosives, fireworks or dangerous chemicals (except as authorized for use in class, or in connection with College-sponsored research or other approved activities). The term firearms include pellet guns, air guns, rifles, shotguns, handguns, multiple firing weapons and any weapon capable of firing a shot. 28. Other Violations Violation of any other College policy or violation of any local, state, or federal law. Sex Based Offenses: The following violations represent sex-based offenses that are not covered under the Title IX Final Rule. More information about how these charges are adjudicated can be found in Section VIII: Conduct Process for Non-Title IX Covered Sexual Misconduct. 29. Intimate Partner Violence Intimate partner violence includes dating violence and domestic violence, both are defined below. Intimate partner violence can occur in relationships of the same or different genders. Dating Violence Any act of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the victim’s statement and with consideration of the type and length of the relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Two people may be in a romantic or intimate relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature; however, neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in a business or social context shall constitute a romantic or intimate relationship.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 12 Domestic Violence Any violent action committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, a person sharing a child with the victim, or a person cohabiting with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner. Includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law. 30. Sexual Assault Any sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent. Sexual assault can include: a. Sexual Assault I: Rape Sexual intercourse or any sexual penetration, no matter how slight, of another person’s oral, anal, or genital opening with any object (an object includes but is not limited to parts of a person’s body) without the active consent of the victim. b. Sexual Assault II: Fondling Touching a person’s intimate parts (defined as genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks) for the purpose of sexual gratification, whether directly or through clothing, without the active consent of the victim. Sexual Assault II also includes forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts. c. Sexual Assault III: Statutory Rape Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of consent. d. Sexual Assault IV: Incest Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. 31. Sexual Exploitation Nonconsensual, abusive sexual behavior that does not otherwise constitute (30) Sexual Assault or (32) Sexual Harassment. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: a. intentional, nonconsensual tampering with or removal of condoms or other methods of birth control and STI prevention prior to or during sexual contact in a manner that significantly increases the likelihood of STI contraction and/or pregnancy by the nonconsenting party; b. nonconsensual video or audio taping of sexual activity; c. allowing others to watch consensual or nonconsensual sexual activity without the consent of a sexual partner; observing others engaged in dressing/undressing or in sexual acts without their knowledge or consent; trafficking people to be sold for sex; and/or inducing incapacitation with the intent to sexually assault another person. 32. Sexual Harassment Sexual Harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, nonverbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, when the conditions outlined in (1) or (2), below, are present. (1) Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a person’s employment, academic standing, or participation in any
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 13 college programs or activities or is used as the basis for College decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment); (2) Such conduct creates a hostile environment. A hostile environment exists when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, and pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual ability to participate in or benefit from, the College’s education or employment programs or activities. 33. Stalking Engaging in a course of conduct, directed at a specific person, which is likely to causes a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or cause that person to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking does not require direct contact between parties and can be accomplished in many ways, including through the use of electronic media such as the internet, pagers, cell phones, or other similar devices. Good Samaritan Policy: Good Samaritans are individuals who summon aid in instances in which abuse of alcohol and other drugs has created a potentially life-threatening situation, requiring an immediate response from emergency services personnel. In all instances, Westchester Community College’s primary concern is that those in need receive prompt medical attention. A Good Samaritan, acting in good faith to summon aid in instances in which abuse of alcohol and other drugs has created a potentially life-threatening situation, requiring an immediate response from emergency services personnel, will not be subject to Westchester Community College’s Code of Conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the request for aid.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 14 SECTION V: Interim Administrative Actions Interim administrative actions are not a sanction, but are temporary measures, if reasonable under the circumstances, that may be taken against a student pending resolution of a college investigation and/or the student conduct process, up to and including the finalization of the appeal process, with the exception of a Cease and Desist Directive. A Cease and Desist Directive may be issued as a non-disciplinary directive for a temporary duration of time, such as, until one party is no longer a student at the College. The Director of Student Support Services or designee or the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion or designee may impose an Interim Administrative Action. A. Interim Administrative Actions include, but are not limited to: a. Interim Suspension: When it is reasonably believed that the continued presence of a student would constitute a threat to the health and safety of the community, the student may be placed on an Interim Suspension. Students placed on interim suspension will be denied access to college premises (including classes) and all other activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. b. No Contact Order: an official notification to the accused/Respondent that they must no longer contact another person(s), referred to as the protected individual/person. Continuing to contact the protected individual/person is a violation of college policy subject to conduct charges. If the accused/Respondent and the protected individual/person observe each other in a public place, it is the responsibility of the accused/Respondent to leave the area immediately and without directly contacting the protected person. The College may establish an appropriate schedule for the accused/Respondent to access applicable institution buildings and property at a time when such buildings and property are not being accessed by the Reporting Individual. c. Class Relocation: A student may be relocated to another section of the same course. Students who are relocated to new class sections may not be reassigned to their original course section even if charges are not filed following an investigation and/or if a finding of “not responsible” is made. d. Campus Restriction: A student may be restricted from appearing in any or all of the buildings or grounds on campus if it is reasonably believed the that the student poses a threat to the health or safety of the campus community. Other interim restrictions may be imposed such as denial of access to specified campus services or programs. e. Interim Account Hold: An administrative or registration hold on a student’s account may be placed when a College investigation or student conduct case is pending, or when a student’s full compliance with disciplinary sanctions are pending. f. Cease & Desist Directive: a written directive to multiple parties prohibiting contact with each other, either directly or through a third party for a temporary duration of time, such as, until one party is no longer a student at the College. Students who have Interim Administrative Actions imposed onto them shall be able to appeal or request a modification to the parameters of the imposed actions. Students must submit, in writing, their specific request and provide any information, documentation or further evidence to support their request within three (3) calendar days from the date they are notified of the imposed actions. The request will be reviewed by the Dean of Student Life or designee; their decision will be final.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 15 Section VI: Student Conduct Process NOTE: Incidents of sexual misconduct are treated separately from other misconduct. Information regarding reporting, responding to, investigating, and placing interim measures for reports of sexual misconduct are found at: www.sunywcc.edu/titleix. Information about adjudicating acts of sexual misconduct can be found in Section VIII of this Code. A. Standard of Proof a. The student conduct process utilizes a “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof, which evaluates whether it is more likely than not that a violation occurred. B. Accommodations in the Conduct Process a. Students with disabilities who are involved in the student conduct process may seek reasonable accommodations for any stage of the student conduct process. Any student requesting accommodations will be referred to the Disability Services Office to request and obtain an accommodation letter. The student must then submit the accommodation letter and their written accommodation request to the Student Conduct Officer at least 72 hours before the stage of the conduct process that the request is for. The Student Conduct Officer, in consultation with the Disability Services Office, will make a determination, based on appropriate legal standards and College policy, regarding what accommodation, if any, is appropriate. C. Reports of Misconduct a. Any person may file an incident report regarding any student or registered student organization alleging misconduct. Incident reports shall be prepared in writing and directed to the Director of Student Support Services or designee. An individual filing an incident report may elect to meet with a Student Conduct Officer for a consultation prior to submitting a complaint. Individuals are encouraged to visit www.sunywcc.edu/incidentreport to file an incident report with the College. b. While timeliness for submitting an incident report is preferable, there is no deadline to file a report of alleged misconduct while the accused is a SUNY WCC student. c. Details in the incident report should include but is not limited to a description of the incident, names of accused individuals, and any relevant evidence and witness names. d. Once the incident report is received, the Director of Student Support Services and/or an assigned Student Conduct Officer will review the report and determine whether or not it has merit to move forward and officially enter the student conduct process. To make this determination, the Director of Student Support Services and/or and assigned Student Conduct Officer may meet with other individuals involved and/or review evidence. An incident report must set forth allegations of misconduct in writing with sufficient detail to support it being officially entered into the conduct process. D. Administrative Conference a. When an incident report officially enters the conduct process, the Accused student becomes a Respondent and will be invited to attend an Administrative Conference. An Administrative Conference is a meeting between a Respondent and a Student Conduct Officer to discuss the incident and the subsequent alleged violations. At this meeting, the
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 16 Student Conduct Officer and Respondent will attempt to resolve the charges made against a Respondent. Typically, the Respondent will meet with the Student Conduct Officer to: i. Review the Incident Report and the alleged code (violations); ii. Learn about the student conduct process and have their questions answered; iii. Give their perspective about the incident and provide relevant evidence; iv. Provide witness information, if applicable; v. Receive a copy of the Incident Report. b. After the Administrative Conference, the Respondent has the option to take up to three (3) calendar days to decide whether or not to accept responsibility for the charges. The Respondent must communicate their decision to the Student Conduct Officer within the three (3) calendar days, in writing via email or in person. Based on the Respondent’s decision, the following resolutions can be made: i. Respondent Accepts Responsibility for the Charges: A Respondent who acknowledges responsibility shall have the opportunity to resolve the case with the Student Conduct Officer by agreeing to an appropriate sanction. Respondents who agree to resolve the case in this manner will sign an Administrative Agreement to resolve the issue and shall have no right to appeal. If the Respondent does not accept an appropriate sanction from the Student Conduct Officer after accepting responsibility, but the Student Conduct Officer has determined that the preponderance standard has been met, the Student Conduct Officer can find the student responsible for the Code violation and a sanction may be imposed. ii. Respondent Does Not Accept Responsibility for the Charges, but the Student Conduct Officer determines that the preponderance standard has been met: The Student Conduct Officer may impose sanction(s). iii. The Student Conduct Officer finds the Respondent Not Responsible and the Student Conduct Officer Agrees: The Student Conduct Officer and the Respondent will sign an Administrative Agreement. iv. Respondent Does Not Attend Administrative Conference or Fails to Communicate in a Timely Manner with the Student Conduct Officer: The Student Conduct Officer, using the information available, will make a determination on the charges. If the Student Conduct Officer finds the Respondent Responsible for any or all of the charges, the Student Conduct Officer may impose sanction(s). c. Imposed sanctions may only be imposed in cases where sanctions will not result in suspension or expulsion. When the Student Conduct Officer believes the appropriate sanction should be suspension or expulsion, the case must be referred to a Hearing. d. When a sanction is imposed, the Respondent maintains the right to appeal the decision as described in Section IX e. A Student Conduct Officer may review the student’s academic transcript, student conduct history, and impact statement(s) to help make their determination on appropriate sanctions. A Student Conduct Officer may also consider additional relevant mitigating and aggravating factors to help make their determination on appropriate sanctions.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 17 f. Administrative Conferences will be scheduled around a Respondent’s academic schedule. g. During the Administrative Conference and throughout the student conduct process, the student may have one advisor of their choice. The advisor shall not represent or speak for the student and shall not participate directly in the student conduct process. The advisor may be present and speak privately with the student during any meeting. It is responsibility of the student to find their own support person/advisor. h. Excluding the Student Conduct Officer, participants are prohibited from making their own recording (including, but not limited to audio, photographic, video, and/or written recording). It is up to the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer to record the meeting. The College will maintain any recordings created as required by New York state law. Recordings are the property of the College. Upon written request, a Respondent may review the audio recording and make appropriate arrangements for it to be transcribed on College premises. Arrangements for a transcriber and all associated costs involved in the transcription will be the sole responsibility of the requesting individual. i. The Respondent shall have the right to: i. Receive advance notice of at least five (5) calendar days of the date, time and location of the Administrative Conference they are required or are eligible to attend. This notification will also include a written statement of the violations to the Student Code of Conduct that the Respondent is being charged with. Proper written notification shall be defined as hand-delivery by campus staff, delivery of information via electronic message to a student’s assigned campus email account, or delivery by the U.S. Post Office to a student's local off-campus address. Students shall be held responsible for the contents of mail for which they have refused receipt. i. An opportunity to present evidence, including truthful and accurate information about the incident. Evidence can include, but is not limited to: written documents, photographs, videos, witness testimony, witness statements, and digital media. 1. The Student Conduct Officer will make the final decision related to the admissibility and relevancy of all evidence. 2. Evidence presented that indicates a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be adjudicated at a future time. 3. Character and expert witnesses are not permitted as evidence. ii. Request a delay or continuance of the administrative conference reasonable under the circumstances. The Student Conduct Officer will determine the validity of the request and if the delay will be granted. Delays of this nature can be made for up to five (5) calendar days from the date of the Administrative Conference. iii. A written notification of the outcome of the Administrative Conference and a description of the appeal procedure (if applicable) no later than ten (10) calendar days after the conclusion of the Administrative Conference.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 18 E. Hearing Hearings will be used to adjudicate alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct at the discretion of the Director of Student Support Services, a Student Conduct Officer or when a resolution cannot be reached at an Administrative Conference. a. Hearing Officers, Hearing Chairs & Hearing Participants i. The Director of Student Support Services or designee will assign two to three Hearing Officers. Hearing Officers are designated and trained by the Director of Student Support Services annually. ii. A Hearing Chair will be appointed by the Director of Student Support Services for each Hearing. The Hearing Chair leads the Hearing and ensures all proper procedures are followed. The Hearing Chair does not participate in certain aspects of the Hearing including the private deliberations of the Hearing Officers where a determination is made about the outcome of the charges and sanctions are recommended. Hearing Chairs are designated and trained by the Director of Student Support Services annually. iii. The Student Conduct Officer who facilitated the Administrative Conference with the student will generally serve as the Complainant at the Hearing. iv. The hearing participants generally include the Respondent(s), Complainant, two to three Hearing Officers, a Hearing Chair, a support person/advisor for the Respondent, any witnesses, and the Director of Student Support Services or designee who may serve in an advisory position to the Hearing Officers. v. All participants are expected to be respectful of each other’s purpose in the hearing and conduct themselves according to the direction of the hearing body. b. Evidence i. Evidence (e.g., written documents, photographs, videos, witness names, witness statements, and digital media) to be presented by the Respondent and Complainant during a Hearing must be submitted to the Director of Student Support Services or designee at least two (2) calendar days in advance of the scheduled hearing. In extraordinary circumstances, the Hearing Officers may accept the submission of evidence within the two (2) calendar days before the hearing. ii. Both parties will be notified that evidence is available for their review. Parties will need to make a request in writing to the Director of Student Support Services or designee with at least one (1) calendar days’ notice prior to the Hearing to review evidence. Parties will be able to review evidence and take notes on their observations but will not be able to take evidence with them and/or make copies of the evidence (inclusive of taking photographs/video recordings of the evidence). iii. The Hearing Officers will make the final decision related to the admissibility and relevancy of all evidence. iv. Evidence presented during a hearing that indicates a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be adjudicated at a future time. v. Character and expert witnesses are not permitted as evidence at a Hearing.
Student Code of Conduct Approved: July 3, 2018; Last Updated: August 2023 19 c. Respondent Rights in a Hearing The Respondent shall have the right to: i. Receive advance notice of at least five (5) calendar days of the date, time and location of any hearing they are required to or are eligible to attend. This notification will also include a written statement of the violations to the Student Code of Conduct that the Respondent is being charged with. Proper written notification shall be defined as hand-delivery by campus staff, delivery of information via electronic message to a student’s assigned campus email account, or delivery by the U.S. Post Office to a student's local off-campus address. Students shall be held responsible for the contents of mail for which they have refused receipt. ii. A prompt and impartial hearing. iii. An investigation and adjudication process conducted in a manner that recognizes the legal and policy requirements of due process (including fairness, impartiality, and a meaningful opportunity to be heard) and is not conducted by individuals with a conflict of interest. iv. Request a delay of a hearing date of up to five (5) calendar days reasonable under the circumstance(s). The Director of Student Support Services or designee will determine the validity of the request and if the delay will be granted. v. Be notified of the proposed evidence and information to be presented and to know the identity of witnesses who have been called to speak at the hearing or provide written testimony for the hearing when such information is known by the Director of Student Support Services or designee prior to the hearing. vi. Present evidence, testimony, witnesses, and witness statements when deemed appropriate and relevant by the Hearing Officers. vii. Ask questions of the decision maker and via the decision maker indirectly request responses from other parties and any other witnesses present. This method is used to preserve the educational tone of the hearing and to avoid creation of an adversarial environment. It will be left to the discretion of the Hearing Officers whether or not to ask requested questions of other parties. viii. One support person/advisor of their choosing. The advisor shall not represent or speak for the student and shall not participate directly in the student conduct process. The advisor may be present and speak privately with the student during any meeting. It is responsibility of the student to find their own support person/advisor. ix. Be present at the pertinent stages of the hearing process as indicated by the Hearing Officers. The deliberations of the Hearing Officers are private. x. Be truthful & accurate when presenting statements and other information. xi. Present a written impact statement to the Hearing Officers to review if a finding of “responsible” is made. Impact statements are only reviewed by the Hearing Officers when deliberating sanctions. Impact statements outline the student’s reasoning for what may constitute an appropriate sanction. The Hearing Officers are not bound by these statements when recommending sanctions.