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Code of Student Conduct

1.1  San Jacinto College (the College) is committed to maintaining an excellent teaching and learning community. As its central purpose, this community promotes intellectual investigation through vigorous discussion. Essential values that support this purpose include civility, dignity, diversity, education, equality, freedom, honesty and safety.

1.2  The establishment and maintenance of a community where there is freedom to teach and to learn is dependent on maintaining an appropriate sense of order that allows for the pursuit of these objectives in an environment that is both safe and free   of detractive disruption. When students voluntarily enroll in the College community, they accept the duty and responsibility of abiding by the regulations and accepted practices of the College.  Each  member of the San Jacinto College community is expected to exercise responsibility and to govern his or her conduct with standards of good taste and ethical judgment even when others disregard those standards.

1.3  Within the College, entities (such as divisions, departments and programs, professional and student organizations) have developed guidelines and regulations that outline standards of conduct governing their constituents and sometimes provide procedures for sanctioning violations of those standards. This Code of Student Conduct (the Code) does not replace those standards, nor does it constrain the procedures or sanctions provided by those policies. This Code describes possible behaviors that are inconsistent  with  the   essential   values of the College community; it outlines procedures to respond to such behaviors; and it suggests possible sanctions  that are intended to educate and to safeguard members of the College community.

1.4  The College has an enduring commitment to provide students with a balanced and fair student discipline system resolution. The purpose of this code is to provide students with the appropriate due process protections to which they are entitled. This Code is one of the College’s administrative procedures and should not be equated with procedures used in civil or criminal court.

1.5  It is the policy of The San Jacinto College District not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, pregnancy, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, genetic information, marital status  or veteran status in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.

2.1  College: The term “College” means San Jacinto College, including all of its branch campuses, satellite campuses, learning centers, distance learning and district offices.

2.2  Student: As used in this code, the term “student”refers to a person who is currently enrolled in courses at San Jacinto College, whether full time or part time. Where specifically   indicated,   some   portions of this Code also may confer rights and obligations upon former students and individuals currently active and involved in the admissions process.

2.3  College Community: Any College employee or enrolled student, whether full or part-time, or any person or organization doing business with the College under contract or on a regular basis.

2.4  Notice: Any correspondence from a College representative, deposited with the United States Postal Service by certified mail, addressed to the last known address of the addressee as shown on the College records, personally delivered to the addressee, or delivered to the student’s San Jacinto College email address or other email address designated by the student.

2.5  College Policy: Any provision of a rule, regulation, resolution, or guideline adopted or approved by the Board of Trustees.

2.6  College Procedure: Any provision of a rule, regulation, guideline, handbook, manual, operating letter, or published directive issued by the Administration.

2.7  College Official: Any person employed by the College who is performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.

2.8  College Premises: Property owned, controlled, used, leased or occupied by the San Jacinto College District, including vehicles and property physically removed from a campus.

2.9  College-Sponsored and Affiliated Activity: Any activity on or off campus that is initiated, sponsored, authorized, or supervised by the San Jacinto College District.

2.10  Hearing: A conference between a charged student and the Dean of Compliance & Judicial Affairs, Compliance Officer or other College official which provides 1) an opportunity for the respondent to respond   to   allegations   of misconduct, 2) an opportunity for the student to present or receive evidence and/or 3) an opportunity to receive notice of, or to respond to, possible sanctions for all alleged misconduct.

2.11  Organization: Any number of students who have complied with the formal requirements for registration at San Jacinto College.

2.12  Administrative Summons: A written notice to a student to report to a College administrative office at a designated date and time.

2.13  Sanction: Penalty for violating the Code of Student Conduct.

2.14  Public Law: Local, state and federal laws.

2.15  Compliance & Judicial Affairs Office: This office has been designated by the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services to consider, and when appropriate, impose sanctions upon students found to have violated the Student Code.

2.16  Conduct Appellate Board: Persons appointed by the Campus Provost toconduct a hearing or consider certain appeals from students who have been accused of violating the Student Code.

2.17  Commercial Solicitation: Activities related to the sale of goods and/or services for the benefit of an individual, business or investors.

Any student found to have committed the following acts is subject to disciplinary sanction(s), condition(s), and/or restriction(s). Misconduct or prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to:

3.1  Endangerment and Unwelcome Physical Contact

3.1.1  Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person on College property or at College sponsored and supervised functions, including physical abuse or  assault,  fighting,  threats  to use force and acts of intimidation or harassment.

3.1.2  Action(s) that endanger the health, safety or well-being of another person or group.

3.1.3  Action(s) that is likely to endanger one’s own health or safety.

3.1.4  Interference with the freedom of another person to move about in a lawful manner or to participate in the activities of the College.

3.1.5  Physical contact with another when the actor knows or reasonably should know that the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.

3.2  Harassment  

“Harassment”as used in this section refers to repetitive or persistent conduct that goes beyond annoyance, frustration or offensiveness. The actions must be severe or pervasive, and the effect of the conduct must be to deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s activities, programs, or services. The term“harassment”as used in this section generally excludes acts or decisions of College officials in the performance of their duties (e.g., assignment of a low grade, denial of financial aid), or inquiries about the student’s conduct. This section does not apply to harassment based on sex, race, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, citizenship, age, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, national origin, religion or disability. Separate procedures govern harassment based on a protected status. (See Complaint Procedures 300 and 400 in the Student Handbook.)

3.2.1  Harassment includes conduct that is physical, verbal, graphic, written or electronic. Harassment may be threatening or intimidating, or it may be distracting and disruptive (e.g. bullying, persistent attempts to prevent someone from studying; flashing a light in someone’s eyes; humiliating but non-threatening practical jokes).

3.2.2  “Harassment” includes, but is not limited to persistent and unwelcome communications by telephone, in writing or by electronic device, including social media cyberbullying, in a manner that is reasonably likely to threaten, harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment or embarrass.

3.2.3  Discriminatory Harassment is physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct directed at  a person because of his or her race, color, national origin, sex (gender), religion, disability, age, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected status and that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that the conduct:

  1. Affects a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile or offensive educational environment;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the student’s academic performance or an employee’s work performance; or
  3. Otherwise adversely affects a person’s educational or employment opportunities.

Examples of prohibited harassment include, but are not limited to, offensive or derogatory comments, jokes or slurs because of the individual’s protected status or because of the individual’s need for an accommodation based on disability or religion;  actions  that  are  designed  to humiliate or embarrass; physical aggression or assault; display of graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic or other negative stereotypes; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property when motivated by the individual’s protect-ed status. For a detailed process about Discrimination and Harassment Complaints, please refer to Complaint Procedure 300 found in the Student Handbook.

3.3  Stalking

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others (including a member of the person’s household) or to suffer substantial emotional distress. “Course of conduct”means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the accused stalker directly or indirectly, or through a third party, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

Stalking may be physical, such as following another person in a vehicle, and it may be electronic, such as making direct or implied threats by phone or electronic message. Stalking also may include leaving unwanted objects for the victim at the victim’s home, car or workplace.

3.4  Disruption        

Conduct that impairs, interferes with, or obstructs the orderly educational processes and functions of the College, including teaching, studying, research, College administration, public-service functions and extracurricular activities. The prohibition  applies  to acts that occur whether inside or outside the classroom setting. In campus locations outside the classroom, faculty members and professional staff members are authorized to take appropriate remedial action upon observing a student engaging in conduct that violates this Code (e.g. requesting a student   to cease disruptive behavior). The faculty member or staff member shall identify himself or herself to the student.

3.4.1  Engaging in activities that materially or substantially interfere with the activities of other members of the College community, that cause substantial disorder, or that disrupt the regular operation of College activities or instruction.

3.4.2  Inciting and/or participating in campus demonstrations which materially or substantially disrupt the normal operations or activities of the College.

3.4.3  Obstructing or impeding reasonable access of movement by pedestrians or vehicles on campus.

3.4.4  Using a cell phone or other electronic device in class in a manner that is disruptive to the teaching/learning environment. Students may be subject to permanent removal from class for violating a previous directive to refrain from using such devices.

3.4.5  Classroom behavior that interferes with (i) the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or (ii) another student’s ability to receive information from the instructor or to benefit from the program. A faculty member may temporarily suspend a student from his/ her classroom for the remainder of the class whenever the student is disrupting the class to a point that there is no longer a meaningful learning environment.

3.4.6  Violating the College’s policy on free expression. (See Right to Freedom of Inquiry and Expression under Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Student Handbook).

3.4.7  Engaging in conduct that interferes with or obstructs the student disciplinary process.

3.5  Hazing    

Prohibited acts for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition of continued membership in a group or organization or as part of any activity of a recognized student organization or student group includes any act that inflicts or intends to inflict physical or  mental  harm  or  discomfort or which may demean, disgrace, or degrade any person, regardless of  location,  intent,  or  consent of participant(s). Although hazing is related to a person’s initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any student group or organization, a hazing charge may be upheld even without direct proof that a person’s initiation or continued membership is contingent upon participation in the activity. In addition to violating this code of conduct, hazing also is a violation of Texas law (Texas Education Code § 37.151 and 51.936). Hazing includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Striking a student, abandoning a student in an unfamiliar location, blindfolding a student or tying a student’s hands or planning hazing activities to be performed by others.
  2. Forced consumption of any food, alcohol, drugs or any other substance.
  3. Forced physical activity, such as calisthenics.
  4. Deprivation of food or sleep.
  5. Any activity that is intended to subject the individual to embarrassment or humiliation.

3.6  Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Intimate Partner Violence and

Domestic Violence

It is the policy of San Jacinto College to provide a campus environment free of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other behaviors of a sexual nature that are hostile, unwelcome or intimidating. The definitions within this Code are not intended to be mutually exclusive and, in some instances, the definitions may overlap. For example, an act of sexual assault may constitute sexual harassment, while an act of dating violence also may constitute a sexual assault. In the event of overlapping definitions, this Code of Conduct shall be construed to provide students with the maximum  protection  required by law. The prohibitions in the code of conduct encompass conduct occurring in connection with  a College activity or program. Conduct that occurs off-campus also is encompassed by these rules if the conduct creates a sexually hostile environment on campus or in a College activity or program or adversely affects another student’s educational opportunities at the College.

3.6.1  Consent

Consent: A critical factor that distinguishes acceptable sexual behavior from unacceptable sexual behavior is the consent of the parties involved. Consent is a clear, knowing and voluntary permission by words or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is communicated through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate willingness by all of the involved parties to engage in the same sexual activity, at the same time, and in the same way. Clear and open communication is an essential element to conveying and understanding consent. Ideally, consent is given verbally; however, consent (or lack of consent) also may be expressed through gestures and body language. Consent cannot be freely given if the person’s ability to understand and give consent is impaired. Examples of those who cannot give consent include but are not limited to:

  1. The individual is under the age of 17 and is not the spouse of the actor;
  2. The individual is unconscious;
  3. The individual is impaired due to ingestion of a substance such as drugs or alcohol;
  4. The actor compels another to submit to or participate in a sexual act by using physical force or violence against the other person or by threatening to use force or violence against another person;
  5. The other person has not consented to the sexual act with the actor and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual act is occurring;
  6. The other person is mentally impaired or has a mental disability; or
  7. The actor has misrepresented or concealed his or her true identity to the individual.
3.6.2  Sexual Harassment

“Sexual harassment” includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, unwelcome verbal comments of  a sexual nature and unwelcome physical contact or touching of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is wrongful regardless of whether the parties are of the same sex or of the opposite sex. Sexual harassment occurs when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of employment, instruction or participation in other College activities;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for personnel or academic decisions that affect the individual who has been subjected to sexual advances; and/or
  3. Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work on academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.

Whether sexual harassment has occurred depends on a totality of the circumstances, including the severity and frequency of the conduct.

The definition of sexual harassment also encompasses gender-based harassment, such as actions or comments that target a student’s failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.

Examples of prohibited sexual harassment include sexually offensive comments and gestures; requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment; requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats of adverse consequences if the recipient does not comply; unwanted flirtation or repeated requests for social/sexual encounters or favors the recipient deems unwelcome; slurs and name-calling; graffiti, pictures or posters of a sexual nature; suggestive  or unwelcome physical contact, such as grabbing, touching or patting; sending offensive emails or text messages; leering, simulating sexual activity or pointing to a person’s intimate body parts; and acts of sexual violence, including sexual assault, sexual coercion and rape.

3.6.3  “Sexual Assault” and “Aggravated Sexual Assault”

“Sexual assault” is defined as intentionally or knowingly causing physical sexual contact or sexual penetration of another person without that person’s consent. “Sexual contact” includes any touching of the anus, breast or any part of the genitals of another person with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. Sexual assault is without consent of the other person if the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by use of physical force or violence, or threat of force or violence, and the other person believes the actor has the present ability to execute the threat; or the other person cannot consent due to age, mental impairment or other circumstance (see definition of consent in Section 3.6.1).

“Aggravated sexual assault”is defined as sexual assault in which the actor causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of the same criminal episode. Other factors may cause an assault to become an aggravated assault, including actions or words that place the victim in imminent fear that the victim or another person will be killed or subjected to serious bodily injury or kidnapping. Aggravated sexual assault also occurs when the actor uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode; when the actor acts in concert with another who commits a sexual assault directed toward the same victim and occurs during the same criminal episode; or when the actor assaults a victim who is younger than 14 years of age or who is an elderly or a disabled individual.

A“sexual offense”may constitute sexual assault even if no force was used during the offense and even if the victim experienced no physical injury.

3.6.4  Dating Violence

Under federal law, the term“dating violence”means violence committed by a person (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship, (ii) the type of relationship and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. San Jacinto College will consider the reporting party’s characterization of the relationship when making a determination whether an act of violence is “dating” violence.

Under Texas law,“dating violence”means an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that is committed against a victim: (A) with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or (B) because of the victim’s marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage; and that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault.

A“dating relationship”means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the nature of the relationship; and (3) the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a “dating relationship.”

3.6.5  Intimate Partner Violence

“Intimate Partner Violence”(IPV) is defined as physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression (including coercive acts) by a current or former intimate partner.

An “intimate partner” is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship and that can be characterized by:

  • emotional connectedness, regular or frequent
  • physical contact and sexual behavior, and/or
  • identity as a couple

The relationship need not involve all of these dimensions. Examples of intimate partners include current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends, dating partners, or sexual partners. IPV can occur between heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.

IPV can vary in frequency and severity. It occurs on a continuum, ranging from one episode that might or might not have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over a period of years.

There are four main types of intimate partner violence: physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression.

Physical violence is the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing death, disability, injury or harm. Physical violence includes, but is not limited to, scratching; pushing; shoving; throwing; grabbing; biting; choking; shaking; aggressive hair pulling; slapping; punching; hitting; burning; use of a weapon; and use of restraints or one’s body, size or strength against another person. Physical violence also includes coercing other people to commit any of the above acts.

Sexual violence is divided into five categories. Any of these acts constitute sexual violence, whether attempted or completed. Additionally all of these acts occur without the victim’s consent, including cases in which the victim is unable to consent due to being too intoxicated (e.g., incapacitation, lack of consciousness, or lack of awareness) through their voluntary or involuntary use of alcohol or drugs.

Rape or penetration of victim – This includes completed or attempted, forced or alcohol/ drug-facilitated unwanted vaginal, oral or anal insertion. Forced penetration occurs through the perpetrator’s use of physical force against the victim or threats to physically harm the victim.

Victim was made to penetrate someone else – This includes completed or attempted, forced or alcohol/drug-facilitated incidents when the victim was made to sexually penetrate a perpetrator or someone else without the victim’s consent.

Non-physically pressured unwanted penetration – This includes incidents in which the victim was pressured verbally or through intimidation or misuse of authority to consent or acquiesce to being penetrated.

Unwanted sexual contact – This includes intentional touching of the victim or  making  the victim touch the perpetrator, either directly or through the clothing, on the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh or buttocks without the victim’s consent.

Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences – This includes unwanted sexual events that are not of a physical nature that occur without the victim’s consent. Examples include unwanted exposure to sexual situations (e.g., pornography); verbal or behavioral sexual harassment; threats of sexual violence to accomplish some other end; and/or unwanted filming, taking or disseminating photographs of a sexual nature of another person.

Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted, attention and contact that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone else (e.g., family member or friend). Some examples include repeated, unwanted phone calls, emails or texts; leaving cards, letters, flowers or other items when the victim does not want them; watching or following from a distance; spying; approaching or showing up in places when the victim does not want to see them; sneaking into the victim’s home or car; damaging the victim’s personal property; harming or threatening the victim’s pet; and making threats to physically harm the victim.

Psychological aggression is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another person mentally or emotionally, and/or to exert control over another person. Psychological aggression can include expressive aggression (e.g., name-calling, humiliating); coercive control (e.g., limiting access to transportation, money, friends and family; excessive monitoring of whereabouts); threats of physical or sexual violence; control of reproductive or sexual health (e.g., refusal to use birth control; coerced pregnancy termination); exploitation of victim’s vulnerability (e.g., immigration status, disability); exploitation of perpetrator’s vulnerability; and presenting false information to the victim with the intent of making them doubt their own memory or perception (e.g., mind games).

3.6.6  Domestic Violence

The term “domestic violence” refers to a pattern of abusive behavior between two individuals formerly or currently in an intimate relationship, including through marriage, cohabitation, dating or within a familial or household arrangement. Abuse may be in the form of physical assault, sexual assault, bodily injury, emotional distress, physical endangerment or when the imminent threat of any of these instances puts the victim in fear of their occurrence.

Under Texas law, domestic violence or domestic assault occurs when the actor commits an assault against a family member, household member, or a current or past dating partner. The offense occurs when the actor intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person or threatens another person with imminent bodily injury. It also occurs when the actor intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another that the actor knows or reasonably should know the victim will find provocative or offensive. A person commits aggravated domestic assault if he or she intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a family member, household member, or a current or past dating partner, or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of committing the assault crime. Domestic violence does not include defensive measures to protect oneself. The term domestic violence also may encompass “dating violence” as defined in the Texas Family Code.

Under Texas law, domestic violence also may constitute family violence, which is defined as ”an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself. The term also encompasses (i) child abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child in the family as defined in Section 261.001 of the Texas Family Code and (ii) dating violence as defined by Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code.

Under federal law,“domestic violence”encompasses a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed:

(i) by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (ii) by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (iii) by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (iv) by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; (v) by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the laws of the jurisdiction where the crime occurred. “Domestic violence”encompasses acts that one might not characterize as violent in a non-domestic context. Additionally, domestic violence requires more than just two people living together; the individuals must be spouses or have an intimate relationship.

3.6.7  Obscene, Lewd or Indecent Behavior

Obscene, lewd or indecent behavior includes but is not limited to, exposure of one’s sexual organs or the display of sexually-oriented and/or obscene materials to a third party or in a public place on campus.

3.6.8  Sexual Misconduct

“Sexual misconduct”is behavior or conduct of a sexual nature that is unprofessional and/or inappropriate for an educational environment. This category encompasses (i) conduct of a sexual nature that is objectively offensive but that may not be sufficient to satisfy the legal definitions of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or domestic violence, and (ii) conduct of a sexual nature that is consensual between two or more parties but that is nonetheless inappropriate in an educational environment, such as engaging in sexual activity on campus or displaying sexually oriented objects or materials in the presence of third parties while on campus.

3.7  Dishonesty       

(Cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or other forms of academic dishonesty fall within the jurisdiction of the Instructional Affairs Division. See the Student Handbook for detailed explanation of academic dishonesty and violations.)

3.7.1  Making, possessing, or using any falsified College documents or records; altering any College document or record, including identification cards; providing false information on an admissions application or financial aid application; providing false information to College officials, faculty members or College offices, including disciplinary hearing bodies; intentionally withholding material information from College officials; making a false report to College police.

3.7.2  Knowingly passing insufficient fund checks or fraudulent money orders in payment of any financial obligation to the College.

3.7.3  Falsely claiming to represent the College or a registered student organization of the College.

3.7.4  Soliciting money from another student or students under the false claim of needing financial assistance for a family member or friend.

3.7.5  Stealing or misappropriating of registered student organization funds.

3.7.6  Misrepresenting facts for academic advantage, including, but  not  limited  to, providing false grades or resumes; providing false or misleading information in an effort to receive a postponement  or an extension on a test, quiz or other assignment for the purpose of obtaining an academic or financial benefit for oneself or another individual; and providing false or misleading information in an effort to injure another student academically or financially.

3.7.7  Using unauthorized, unapproved notes during a test, knowingly copying or obtaining information from another student during a test, or dishonesty of any kind during a test, including placement testing, that occurs in any of the College Testing Centers or at off-site testing labs for the purpose of completing a testing requirement for the College.

3.8  Firearms, Fireworks,  Explosives, Weapons    

Possessing, using or storing firearms, prohibited weapons, ammunition, fireworks, dangerous chemicals, incendiary devices or explosives on College-controlled property or  at  College  events or programs, or violations of the College’s Campus Carry Policies and Procedures, except as may be authorized by the College’s Campus Carry Policies and Procedures, College administration, or by federal, state or local law or regulations. Prohibited weapons include but are not limited to firearms that one carries without proper licensing or that one carries in non- conformance with the College’s Campus Carry Policies and Procedures or state/federal law, pellet guns, sling shots, martial arts devices, switchblades, explosive weapons, or other types of knives and clubs. For more information, please visit sanjac.edu/campus-carry.

3.9  Alcohol and Substance Use        

3.9.1  Possessing, using, distributing, manufacturing or selling alcohol, dangerous drugs, controlled substances or drug paraphernalia on College property or at College-authorized or College- sponsored activities, even if the activity is not conducted on campus.

3.9.2  Over-the-counter drugs are not prohibited when taken in standard dosages or as prescribed by a physician. Prescription drugs are not  prohibited  when  taken  by the person to whom the drugs were prescribed and in accordance with the physician’s prescription. The non-standard or unauthorized use of over-the-counter and prescription drugs is strictly prohibit- ed. It is a violation of the College’s policy for a student to intentionally misuse and/ or abuse prescription medication. Misuse and/or abuse includes taking a medication prescribed for another person or taking a medication in an amount or in a manner that was not prescribed.

3.9.3  Alcohol possession or usage, regardless of age, is strictly prohibited at any on or off-campus, College-authorized or College- sponsored activity or during College- sponsored travel.

3.10 Fire and Safety

3.10.1  Removal, damage or unauthorized tampering with or activation of fire, safety or any emergency warning equipment, including but not  limited to fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and emergency exits.

3.10.2  Falsely reporting bombs, fires or other emergencies to a College official.

3.11  Gambling           

Gambling of any form on College property or at a College sanctioned event is prohibited.

3.12  Property Violations         

3.12.1  Vandalizing, damaging, destroying or defacing public or private property on College premises or at a College-sponsored activity; littering.

3.12.2  Stealing; attempted theft; or the unauthorized removal, borrowing, or use of any College property or the property of others.

3.12.3  Trespassing and/or unauthorized presence in any College building or at a College- sponsored activity.

3.13  Misuse of Computing Resources, Technology, Cell Phones or Cameras      

3.13.1  Unauthorized access or entry into a College computer, computer system, networks, software or data.

3.13.2  Unauthorized alteration of College computer equipment, software, network or data.

3.13.3  Unauthorized copying or distribution of computer software or data.

3.13.4  Use of computing facilities and resources that interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or College official.

3.13.5  Viewing, downloading or printing pornographic materials, photographs or videos is strictly prohibited on College premises.

3.13.6  Use of College computing facilities and resources to send obscene or defamatory messages.

3.13.7  Any violation of the College’s written computer use guidelines.

3.13.8  Unauthorized accessing of College telephones to change a voice mail greeting.

3.13.9  Sending an email or text message using an email address or phone number belonging to another person with the intent to cause the recipient to reasonably believe that the other person sent or authorized the communication.

3.13.10  Forwarding confidential information without authorization.

3.13.11  Taking an unauthorized photo of confidential information, such as a test answer key, confidential student records, confidential health records, or confidential financial information or account numbers.

3.13.12  Using a cell phone or other recording device to make an unauthorized recording of another person’s intimate body areas or of another person who is undressing or using restroom facilities.

3.13.13  Using a cell phone or other recording device to copy another student’s academic work.

3.13.14  Using a recording device to secretly record a conversation to which the student is not a party.

3.14  Failure to Comply         

3.14.1  Failure or refusal to comply with an administrative summons or directive of a College official, including campus police officers, acting in the course of their employment.

3.14.2  Failure to present identification upon the request of a College official.

3.14.3  Conduct that is intended to hinder or obstruct enforcement of this code of conduct.

3.15  Other Violations

3.15.1  Violation of published College policies, rules, regulations including, but not limited to, parking, smoking, solicitation, distribution of literature and campus posting rules, all of which can be found in the Student Handbook.

3.15.2  Violation of federal, state or local laws.

3.15.3  Aiding or abetting any violation of federal law, state law or local ordinance.

3.15 4  Violation of a conduct rule published in  a handbook applicable to a program in which the student is enrolled.

3.16  Retaliation       

Retaliation against an individual who has brought  a complaint under this Code or with a state or federal agency and/or who has participated in an investigation of such complaint. The definition of “retaliation” refers to actions that are materially adverse, which means that the action is the type that would dissuade a reasonable student or witness from exercising their rights under this handbook or under the law.

 

4.1  Authority

The College appoints an administrator who is responsible for determining disciplinary sanctions to be imposed for violations of the Code of Student Conduct. The Dean of Compliance & Judicial Affairs or Compliance Officer are the designated student conduct administrators.

4.2  Complaints        

Any member of the College community may file a complaint against a student alleging misconduct. Unless there are extenuating circumstances or unless the complaint involves allegations that are subject to the College’s Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Violence Procedure, complaints must be received by the Compliance & Judicial Affairs office within two (2) working days of the alleged incident.

The incident report must state the following information:

  1. The name, address, telephone number and signature of the person filing the report.
  2. Identification of the student(s) against whom the report is being filed.
  3. Facts alleged, including the name(s) of the respondent and witnesses, date, location and description of the alleged act(s) of misconduct in sufficient detail to enable the Compliance & Judicial Affairs office to make a determination as to whether further fact- finding is necessary or if sufficient evidence exists for a hearing on the charge(s).
  4. When applicable, a reference to the specific Code of Student Conduct provision alleged to have been violated.

Complaints alleging sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking are governed by a separate procedure found in this handbook.

4.3  Complaint Investigation and Conference with the Respondent

The Dean of Compliance & Judicial Affairs, the Compliance Officer or his or her designee will make an initial determination as to whether the allegations, even if true, do not describe a violation of this Code. If the allegations do describe a violation of this Code, then the Dean or designee shall determine whether there is evidence that supports the allegation. The Dean shall interview the reporting party and may interview other witnesses as necessary or appropriate. The Dean will meet with the respondent, describe the allegations against the student and provide the student an opportunity to respond. If the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee determines that reasonable grounds support the complaint, the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee shall inform the respondent of this determination, the proposed penalty and the student’s procedural rights.

If the Dean determines that there are insufficient grounds to establish that a violation of the Code occurred, the complaint shall be dismissed. The Dean or Compliance Officer or designee shall inform the reporting party and the respondent in writing if the complaint is dismissed.

The Dean or Compliance Officer or designee will determine an appropriate sanction or sanctions given the nature  of  the  charge,  the  evidence  and the student’s disciplinary history, if any. The charge(s) and the sanction(s) will be communicated in a final communication letter to the student via email and, where necessary, by U.S. mail. The final communication letter will include information on how to dispute the charge(s) and/or the sanction(s).

4.3.1  Retaliation Prohibited

Every student has the right to file a complaint or   to participate in an investigation without being subjected to retaliation. Retaliation is an adverse action taken by an employee  or  student  against an individual who makes a good faith report of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct or who participates in an investigation pertaining to a complaint of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct. For an action or decision to be considered adverse, it must be materially adverse and be of the type that would dissuade a reasonable person from exercising his or her rights to file a complaint or to participate in an investigation. Unlawful retaliation does not include petty slights or annoyances. Any employee or student who engages in retaliation may be subject to disciplinary action.

4.4  Emergency Suspension    

In circumstances in which the conduct of a student constitutes an imminent threat or danger to the welfare or safety of the College community, or danger to College property, any College administrator holding the rank of director or above may implement an emergency suspension. (See Emergency Suspension, Section 6.0)

4.5  Disciplinary Sanctions    

Sanctions are designed to promote the College’s educational mission. Sanctions also promote safety and may deter students from behavior that harms, harasses or threatens people or property. Disciplinary sanctions will be based upon the  seriousness  of the offense, the student’s attitude, the impact of the misconduct on the College environment, the student’s overall record at the College (including prior discipline, if any) and statutory or other legal requirements, if any. Possible disciplinary sanctions include, but are not limited to:

  1. Written warning: A formal notice stating that the Code has been violated and that future violations will be dealt with more severely.
  2. Disciplinary probation: A sanction that indicates that the individual’s standing with the College is in jeopardy and that further violations may result in suspension or expulsion.
  3. Restitution: A sanction that requires the student to compensate an injured party for loss, damage or injury in the form of money, service or material replacement.
  4. Community service: Performance of a specified number of hours or tasks designed to benefit the College community and/or to help the student understand why his or her behavior was inappropriate.
  5. Class or workshop attendance: Enrollment and completion of a class or workshop designed to help the student understand why his or her behavior was inappropriate.
  6. Educational project: Completion of a project specifically designed to help the student understand why his or her behavior was inappropriate.
  7. Suspension of privileges: Loss of privileges, such as loss of library privileges, computer privileges, parking privileges or the privilege to attend athletic or other extracurricular events.
  8. Removal from courses or activities: Removal from specific courses or activities, including revocation of eligibility to represent the College in athletic or other extracurricular activities.
  9. Counseling: Mandatory counseling sessions or support group attendance.
  10. Failing grade: A failing grade may be given for a test, assignment or course.
  11. Restrictions on access: Restriction from entering specific College areas and/or all forms of contact with certain persons.
  12. Suspension: Separation from the College for a specified period of time or until certain conditions are met.
  13. Expulsion: Permanent separation from the College whereby the student is not eligible for readmission.
  14. Revocation of degree: Revocation of degree and withdrawal of diploma.

These sanctions do not diminish or replace the penalties available under generally applicable civil or criminal laws. Students are reminded that many violations of the code, including harassment and other discriminatory behavior, also may violate local, state and federal laws and may subject the student to additional penalties.

4.6  Student Conduct Appellate Board        

Students who have been proposed for expulsion, suspension in excess of five school days, revocation of a diploma/degree, withdrawal of a diploma/degree, or removal from campus pursuant to Sections 21.231-21.243 of the Texas Education Code may request a hearing on the proposed sanction before a campus Student Conduct Appellate Board. The Board shall consist of three  full-time  faculty  members  and/  or professional staff members appointed by the Campus Provost. One Board member shall serve as the chairperson. Board members shall be impartial. Employees who were witnesses to the incident under review or who were involved in the investigation or evaluation of the charges under review shall be ineligible to serve as Board members.

When the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee has determined that there are sufficient grounds   to conclude that a student has violated this code and the student disputes the charges, a disciplinary proceeding may be initiated by the student. The procedures available to the student  will  depend on the disciplinary consequences being proposed. Procedure A applies to expulsions, suspensions longer than five school days, revocation of degree, withdrawal of diploma and removal from campus pursuant to Sections 21.231-21.243 of the Texas Education Code. Procedure B applies to all other disciplinary matters.

4.8  Hearing Procedure A:  Student Conduct Appellate Board

Students who have been proposed for expulsion, suspension in excess of five school days, revocation of a diploma/degree, withdrawal of a diploma/degree or removal from campus pursuant to Sections 21.231-21.243 of the Texas Education Code may request a hearing on the proposed decision before a campus Student Conduct Appellate Board. The Board shall consist of three  full-time  faculty  members  and/  or professional staff members appointed by the Campus Provost. One Board member shall serve as the chairperson. Board members shall be impartial. Employees who were witnesses to the incident under review or who were involved in the investigation or evaluation of the charges under review shall be ineligible to serve as Board members.

4.8.1  Notification of Charges and Hearing Rights

  1. All charges shall be presented to the respondent in writing by hand delivery, regular first-class mail or via email to the San Jacinto College email address or other email address designate by the student. A first-class letter will be deemed to have been received on the third day after the date of mailing, excluding any intervening Sunday or federal holiday. An email will be deemed to have been received on the second day after the sending of the message. The notice letter shall contain a statement of the specific charges and a general description of the evidence in support of the charges; (ii) the provisions of the Code of Student Conduct that allegedly were violated; (iii) the proposed penalty; (iv) a copy of this procedure; and (v) contact information for the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee. A student’s failure to update his or her postal and email addresses with the College, refusal to accept delivery of a letter, or refusal or failure to open email will not constitute good cause for failure to comply with a notice.
  2. The respondent shall have four business days in which to request a hearing after receipt of the notice. The request must be made in writing and may be sent via hand delivery, U.S. mail, facsimile or electronic mail. If the student does not timely request a hearing, the discipline may be imposed without further hearing.
  3. If the student requests a hearing, then the hearing ordinarily shall be held within 12 business days of the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee’s receipt of the request for hearing. Upon receipt of the student’s request for hearing, the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee shall promptly notify the student in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The notice of hearing may be sent to the student by electronic mail, U.S. mail or hand delivery. The notice letter shall identify the hearing panel members and shall summarize the procedural rights afforded to the student by this code. The letter shall provide a postal address and email address for the chairperson of the Appellate Board. The letter shall provide (i) the names of the witnesses and a brief summary of their knowledge and (ii) a description of the documents or other evidence that the Compliance and Judicial Affairs office intends to present at the hearing.
  4. Upon a showing of good cause, or upon the mutual agreement of the parties, the hearing may be rescheduled.
  5. In cases involving allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking or domestic violence (see Sections 3.3 and 3.6), the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee shall, subject to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, notify the Title IX Coordinator and the reporting party that the respondent has requested a hearing and the date and time of the hearing. The reporting party shall receive written notice of the information required by Complaint Procedure 400.7. The notice to the reporting party shall include a copy of this procedure.
  6. At least three business days prior to the hearing, the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee will make available to the respondent copies of the documents that the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee intends to introduce at the hearing. This deadline does not apply to rebuttal evidence. This deadline may be modified for good cause.
  7. At least three business days prior to the hearing, the respondent shall provide the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee (i) the names of the student’s witnesses and a brief summary of their knowledge and copies of documents that the student intends to present at the hearing. This deadline may be modified for good cause.

a.) In cases involving allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking or domestic violence (see Sections 3.3 and 3.6), if the reporting party desires to present witnesses or to introduce documents at the hearing, then the procedure regarding exchange of exhibits and witness list shall also apply to the reporting party. Prior to the hearing and subject to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee shall provide copies of the reporting party’s exhibits and witness list to the respondent and shall provide copies of the respondent’s exhibits and witness list to the reporting party.

  1. At least four business days prior to the hearing, the respondent shall submit in writing to the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee and to the chair of the Student Conduct Appellate Board (1) any objection that, if sustained, would warrant a postponement of the hearing, (2) any objection to an appellate board member on the ground of bias or lack of neutrality and (3) the name of the advisor or attorney, if any, who will appear with the student. The student’s advisor or legal counsel may attend the hearing and confer with the student but may not participate or cross- examine witnesses. An advisor may not be a witness in the matter.

    a.) In cases involving allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking or domestic violence (see Sections 3.3 and 3.6), these procedural rights also shall be afforded to the reporting party.

  2. The College retains the right to have legal counsel present at any hearing, but the attorney shall not participate or cross- examine witnesses.
  3. In the event that a student is a qualified person with a disability under federal law and is unable to represent himself or herself at the hearing because of his or her disability, the College, as a reasonable accommodation to the student, will permit the student to be represented by counsel at the hearing. If the student is represented by counsel, then the College also may be represented by counsel.
  4. If the student is proposed for discipline under Section 21.231-21.243 of the Texas Education Code (pertaining to the exclusion of students from campus to maintain order during periods of campus disruption), the student is entitled to be represented by counsel as provided in Section 21.243 of the Texas Education Code. If the student is represented by counsel, then the College also may be represented by counsel.
  5. The respondent may choose at any time to withdraw a request for a hearing on the charges by signing an acknowledgment form and a written waiver of the hearing procedures, located in the Compliance & Judicial Affairs office. The Dean or Compliance Officer or designee will impose an appropriate sanction or sanctions given the nature of the charge, the evidence and the student’s disciplinary history, if any. Although the student will waive the right to contest the charges, the student may appeal the sanction under Section 5.0 of this procedure.

a.) In cases involving charges of sexual misconduct (Section 3.6), stalking (Section 3.3), or domestic violence (Section 3.6), if the respondent waives the right to contest the charges, the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee shall, subject to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, notify the Title IX Coordinator and the reporting party of the disposition of the charge against the respondent. The notice to the reporting party shall be issued to the respondent. The notice shall inform the reporting party that both the reporting party and the respondent have a right to appeal the sanction.

4.8.2  Conducting the Hearing

  1. The Student Conduct Appellate Board shall hear the evidence. The chairperson of the Appellate Board shall preside over the hearing and shall be responsible for preserving order and decorum.
  2. Hearings before the Appellate Board shall be closed to the public. The Board will make a record of the hearing either by tape recording or by a court reporter. No cameras or photographic equipment of any kind, nor any equipment designed or used to record or transmit sound, shall be permitted in the hearing room or in the hallways adjacent to the hearing room while the hearing is in progress or during any recess. This prohibition does not apply to any equipment under the direction of the Appellate Board to make the official recording of the hearing.
  3. If the student fails without good cause (as determined by the Appellate Board) to appear at the scheduled hearing after receiving proper notice, the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee may proceed with the hearing in the student’s absence, and the student forfeits any right to appeal. At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall provide written notice to the student of the action taken.
  4. The hearing will be conducted as an administrative hearing. Courtroom rules of evidence and judicial rules of civil procedure will not apply. Evidence, however, must be relevant to the proceeding and of the type that would be accepted by reasonable persons in the conduct of their important affairs. Objections shall be directed to the chairperson. The chairperson may limit cumulative, repetitious or irrelevant testimony or documentary evidence and may impose reasonable time limits on the presentation of evidence by the parties. The chairperson may impose reasonable restrictions to prevent the harassment or badgering of witnesses. Finally, although the legal rules of evidence do not apply, the chairperson will give effect to legally recognized privileges, such as the attorney- client privilege. The chairperson may seek legal advice as appropriate, including the seeking of legal advice regarding the assertion of privilege by any party or witness, even if such would require a recess in the hearing.
  5. Both the respondent and the Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative will have an opportunity to make an opening statement, present witnesses, cross- examine the witnesses presented by the other side, present documentary or other tangible evidence, and make a closing statement. Witnesses shall be sworn in by the court reporter or other person authorized by law to administer oaths. Opening statements ordinarily shall be limited to five minutes per side.
  6. The Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative has the burden of proving the charges by a preponderance of the evidence, which means proof that leads a reasonable person to find that the facts are more likely to have occurred than not. The Appellate Board shall determine which evidence or testimony, if any, is probative and credible. The Appellate Board shall determine what weight, if any, to give to particular evidence or testimony.
  7. The Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative will present its witnesses and documentation first, followed by the presentation by the student. The Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative will be permitted to present rebuttal evidence after the student completes the presentation of his or her case.
  8. After each witness has been examined by both parties, members of the Appellate Board may question the witness. No Board member, however, is subject to questioning by either party or any witness.
  9. Each party may present a closing argument. The Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative may reserve time for rebuttal. Neither party may present new evidence during closing arguments. The chairperson shall determine the number of minutes that the parties will be given for closing argument, taking into consideration the complexity of the case.
  10. Before opening statements, all witnesses shall be excluded from the hearing room, with the exception of the student (and his or her advisor) and the member of the Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative. Under this rule, no witness may be present to hear or read the testimony of another witness, and witnesses may not converse with each other or any other person about the case outside the hearing room while the hearing is in progress. Each party is responsible for providing a copy of this rule to that party’s witnesses. This rule does not preclude a witness from conferring with a party’s legal counsel, advisor or representative. The chairperson shall have the authority to impose appropriate sanctions and restrictions for a violation of these instructions, including prohibiting the witness from testifying at the hearing. The prohibitions in this section will remain in effect until closing statements are concluded.
  11. The Student Conduct Appellate Board shall deliberate in private. The Board shall issue written findings within 10 business days of the close of the hearing. The Board’s decision shall state whether the respondent has violated this Code and will set forth findings of fact in support of its conclusion. The decision of the Student Conduct Appellate Board will be communicated in writing to the student and the Compliance & Judicial Affairs Office. The decision of the Student Conduct Appellate Board shall be based on a simple majority vote of the members of the Board.
  12. In cases involving charges of sexual conduct (Section 3.6), stalking (Section 3.3), or domestic violence (Section 3.6), the following additional procedures will apply:
  1. The reporting party, his or her advisor, and the Title IX Coordinator may attend the hearing and shall not be excluded during the testimony of other witnesses;
  2. The reporting party has a right to have his or her past sexual history excluded from evidence or discussion;
  3. The reporting party will be given an opportunity to make an opening statement, if desired, and may proceed either before or after the Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative has presented their case;
  4. The reporting party has a right to question any witnesses;
  5. The reporting party has right to present witnesses and evidence;
  6. The  Dean  and  respondent  may question any of the reporting party’s witnesses; however,  should  the reporting party testify, he or she may testify in a manner, as determined by the chair, that does not require  the reporting party to  directly  confront  or be directly questioned  by the respondent while still preserving the respondent’s right to challenge such testimony;
  7. The reporting party has a right to present rebuttal  evidence  and  argument   and to present a rebuttal to the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee’s proposed sanction or sanctions;
  8. The reporting party has the right to present a closing statement prior to the respondent’s closing statement; and
  9. The reporting party will receive a copy of the Board’s written findings, subject to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act.

4.9  Hearing Procedure B:

Impartial Hearing Officer

When the proposed discipline does not involve expulsion, suspension in excess of five school days, revocation of a degree, withdrawal of a diploma, or removal from campus pursuant to Sections 21.231-21.243 of the Texas Education Code, the student may request a hearing on the proposed decision before an Impartial Hearing Officer. The hearing officer may be a member of the Student Conduct Appellate Board or other full-time faculty member or administrator appointed by the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services. The hearing officer shall be impartial. Employees who were witnesses to the incident under review or who were involved in the investigation or evaluation of the charges under review shall be ineligible to serve as the hearing officer.

4.9.1  Notification of Charges and Hearing Rights

  1. All charges shall be presented to the respondent in writing by hand delivery, regular first-class mail or via email to the San Jacinto College email address or other email address designated by the student. A first-class letter will be deemed to have been received on the third day after the date of mailing, excluding any intervening Sunday or federal holiday. An email will be deemed to have been received on the second day after the sending of the message. The notice letter shall contain (i) a statement of the specific charges and a general description of the evidence in support of the charges; the provisions of the Code of Student Conduct that allegedly were violated; (iii) the proposed penalty; (iv) a copy of this procedure; and (v) contact information for the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee. A student’s failure to update his or her postal and email addresses with the College, refusal to accept delivery of a letter, or refusal or failure to open email will not constitute good cause for failure to comply with a notice.
  2. The respondent shall have four business days in which to request a hearing after receipt of the notice. The request must be made in writing and may be sent via hand delivery, U.S. mail, facsimile, or electronic mail. If the student does not timely request a hearing, the discipline may be imposed without further hearing.
  3. If the student requests a hearing, then the hearing ordinarily shall be held within 12 business days of the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee’s receipt of the request for hearing. Upon receipt of the student’s request for hearing, the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee shall promptly notify the student in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The notice of hearing may be sent to the student by electronic mail, U.S. mail, or hand delivery. The notice letter shall identify the hearing officer and shall summarize the procedural rights afforded to the student by this code. The letter shall provide a postal address and email address for the hearing officer.
  4. Upon a showing of good cause, or upon the mutual agreement of the parties, the hearing may be rescheduled.
  5. At least three business days prior to the hearing, the respondent shall submit in writing to the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee and the hearing officer (1) any objection that, if sustained, would warrant a postponement of the hearing, (2) any objection to the hearing officer on the ground of bias or lack of neutrality, and (3) the name of the advisor or attorney, if any, who will appear with the student. The student’s advisor or legal counsel may attend the hearing and confer with the student but may not participate or cross-examine witnesses. An advisor may not be a witness in the matter. Likewise, the College retains the right to have legal counsel present at any hearing, but the attorney shall not participate or cross-examine witnesses.
  6. In the event that a student is a qualified person with a disability under federal law and is unable to represent himself or herself at the hearing because of his or her disability, the College, as a reasonable accommodation to the student, will permit the student to be represented by counsel at the hearing. If the student is represented by counsel, then the College also may be represented by counsel.
  7. The student may choose at any time to withdraw a request for a hearing on the charges by signing an acknowledgment form and a written waiver of the hearing procedures (located in the Compliance & Judicial Affairs office). The Dean or Compliance Officer or designee will impose an appropriate sanction or sanctions given the nature of the charge, the evidence, and the student’s disciplinary history, if any. Although the student will waive the right to contest the charges and to participate in a hearing, the student may seek review of the sanction under Section 5.0 of this procedure. The Dean or Compliance Officer or designee shall notify the student in writing of the right to appeal the sanction.
  8. In cases involving allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, or domestic violence (see Sections 3.3 and 3.6), the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee shall, subject to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, notify the Title IX Coordinator and the reporting party that the respondent has requested a hearing and the date and time of the hearing. The reporting party shall receive written notice of the information required by Complaint Procedure 400.7. The notice to the reporting party shall include a copy of this procedure.

4.9.2  Conducting the Hearing

  1. An Impartial Hearing Officer shall hear the evidence. The Impartial Hearing Officer shall preside over the hearing and shall be responsible for preserving order and decorum.
  2. Hearings before the hearing officer shall be closed to the public. The hearing officer will make a record of the hearing either by tape recording or by a court reporter. No cameras or photographic equipment of any kind, nor any equipment designed or used to record or transmit sound, shall be permitted in the hearing room or in the hallways adjacent to the hearing room while the hearing is in progress or during any recess. This prohibition does not apply to any equipment under the direction of the hearing officer to make the official recording of the hearing.
  3. If the student fails without good cause (as determined by the hearing officer) to appear at the scheduled hearing after receiving proper notice, the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee may proceed with the hearing in the student’s absence, and the student forfeits any right to appeal. At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall provide written notice to the student of the action taken.
  4. The hearing is an informal but orderly conference. Courtroom rules of evidence and judicial rules of civil procedure will not apply. Evidence, however, must be relevant to the proceeding and of the type that would be accepted by reasonable persons in the conduct of their important affairs. Objections shall be directed to the hearing officer. The hearing officer may limit cumulative, repetitious, or irrelevant testimony or documentary evidence and may impose reasonable time limits on the parties’ presentations. The hearing officer may impose reasonable restrictions to prevent the harassment or badgering of witnesses. Finally, although the legal rules of evidence do not apply, the hearing officer will give effect to legally recognized privileges, such as the attorney-client privilege. The hearing officer may seek legal advice as appropriate, including the seeking of legal advice regarding the assertion of privilege, even if such would require a recess in the hearing.
  5. The Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative has the burden of proving the charges by a preponderance of the evidence. The hearing officer shall determine which evidence or testimony, if any, is probative and credible. The hearing officer shall determine what weight, if any, to give to particular evidence or testimony.
  6. The Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative will make its presentation first, followed by the presentation by the respondent. The Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative will be permitted to present rebuttal evidence after the student completes the presentation of his or her case.
  7. Both the Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative and the student may present witnesses to address specific issues relevant to the matter. Witnesses shall be sworn in by the court reporter or other person authorized by law to administer oaths. The hearing officer may question any witness and may place reasonable limits on the length of a presentation by a witness. Cross- examination by the parties is not permitted.
    a.) In cases in which the proposed sanction is a (i) written warning or reprimand, (ii) attendance at an educational presentation or professional development meeting to receive information about the College’s expectations or (iii) a change in instructors, the testimony of third parties will not be permitted during a party’s presentation unless the hearing officer determines that such testimony is necessary to aid the fact-finding process.
  8. The hearing officer may question either party. The hearing officer is not subject to questioning by either party or any witness.
  9. Each party may present a five-minute closing argument. The Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative may reserve time for rebuttal. Neither party may present new evidence during closing arguments.
  10. Before the parties begin their presentations, all witnesses shall be excluded from the hearing room, with the exception of the student and the Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative. Under this rule, no witness may be present to hear or read the testimony of another witness and witnesses may not converse with each other or any other person about the case outside the hearing room while the hearing is in progress. Each party is responsible for providing a copy of this rule to that party’s witnesses. This rule does not preclude a witness from conferring with a party’s legal counsel or representative. The hearing officer shall have the authority to impose appropriate sanctions and restrictions for a violation of these instructions, including prohibiting the witness from testifying at the hearing. The prohibitions in this section will remain in effect until closing statements are concluded.
  11. The hearing officer shall issue written findings within five business days of the close of the hearing. The hearing officer’s decision shall state whether the respondent has violated this Code and will set forth findings of fact in support of its conclusion. The decision of the hearing officer will be communicated in writing to the student and the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee.
  12. In cases involving charges of sexual misconduct (Section 3.6), stalking (Section 3.3), or domestic violence (Section 3.6), the reporting party and his or her advisor, may attend the hearing and participate. The Title IX Coordinator will also attend the hearing and participate. The reporting party shall have the same rights and opportunities to make a presentation as does the respondent. The reporting party may proceed either before or after the Compliance and Judicial Affairs representative has presented their case. Subject to the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, the hearing officer shall communicate the hearing officer’s decision to the reporting party at the same time that the decision is communicated to the respondent.

A respondent may appeal any ruling issued pursuant to Appropriate Hearing Procedure. The student may appeal a finding of misconduct, the sanction, or both. Additionally, in cases involving charges of sexual misconduct (Section 3.6), stalking (Section 3.3) or domestic violence (Section 3.6), the reporting party also will have a right to appeal a decision that is adverse to the reporting party.

The student shall complete an Appeals Hearing Request Form, which is available in the Compliance & Judicial Affairs office. The completed form must be submitted to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services and the Compliance & Judicial Affairs office within seven business days of notification of an adverse disciplinary decision from the Student Conduct Appellate Board or the hearing officer. The written appeal must state the specific grounds in support of the appeal and must provide argument in support of reversal or modification of the decision. No new evidence or information may be submitted. The student must provide a copy of the appeal to the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee. The Dean or Compliance Officer or designee may submit a written response within seven business days of receipt of the appeal. The Dean or Compliance Officer or designee must provide a copy of the written response to the student. The Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services shall determine whether oral argument is needed. If the Associate Vice Chancellor determines that oral argument is needed, then the Associate Vice Chancellor shall notify the student and the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee of the time, date and location of the argument.

The appeal shall be based on the hearing record developed at the first level. The Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services shall communicate his or her decision within 15 business days of the student’s request for the appeal. If the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services is unavailable for any reason to hear the appeal, the Associate Vice Chancellor shall designate an impartial administrator to hear the appeal. A timely appeal to the Associate Vice Chancellor suspends the imposition of the sanction but other interim action may be taken as authorized by this Code.

The Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services or designee may reject, accept or modify the ruling from the Appellate Board or hearing officer. The decision of the Associate Vice Chancellor or designee from an appeal based on Hearing Procedure B is final and non-appealable. The decision of the Associate Vice Chancellor or designee from an appeal based on Hearing Procedure A may be appealed to the Provost or designee. The student must file the appeal within seven business days of receipt of the Associate Vice Chancellor or designee’s decision. The written appeal must state the specific grounds in support of the appeal and must provide argument in support of reversal or modification of the Associate Vice Chancellor or designee’s decision. No new evidence or information may be submitted. The student must provide a copy of the appeal to the Dean or Compliance Officer or designee. The Dean or Compliance Officer or designee may submit a written response within seven business days of receipt of the appeal. The Dean or Compliance Officer or designee must provide a copy of the written response to the student. No oral argument will be provided. The Provost shall communicate his or her decision in writing within 20 business days of the Provost’s receipt of the appeal.

Pending a hearing or other disposition of charges against a student, the Provost, Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services, Dean of Compliance & Judicial Affairs, Deans of Student Development or their designees may take such immediate interim disciplinary action as is appropriate to the circumstances. This includes suspending the right of the student to be present on campus and to attend classes or activities when the continuing presence of the student poses a potential danger to persons or property or poses a potential threat of disrupting the academic process or any  activity  authorized by the College. The administration shall promptly send written notice to the student via hand delivery, electronic mail or first-class U.S. mail.

In determining whether an emergency suspension is warranted, the administration shall consider the reliability of the evidence or report of wrongdoing and whether the continued presence of the student on campus reasonably poses a threat to the physical or emotional well-being of any individual, including the student or for reasons relating to the safety and welfare of any College property or any College function. A student who is suspended on an emergency basis is entitled to a hearing at his  or her request. If the suspension is longer than five days, Hearing Procedure A shall apply; otherwise, Hearing Procedure B shall apply. The hearing shall be held as soon as practicable, generally within 10 business days of the administration’s receipt of the student’s request.