STUDENT CONDUCT CODE
The fundamental purpose of SEEDAC COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCE’s (SCAS) regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the College community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the College and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the College community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically.
This SEEDAC COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCE Student Conduct Code (this “Code”) applies to all students, including without limitation undergraduate and graduate students, and student groups/organizations, whether recognized by the College or not.
For purposes of this Code, a “student” is defined as any individual registered in one or more courses in SCAS, including without limitation at the undergraduate or graduate level. Any teaching or research assistant or others who may be on College payroll, if also registered as a student, are “students” for the purposes of this Code. Additionally, “student” includes any individual who may not be currently registered in one or more courses, but: who has accepted an offer of admission to the College, but has not yet matriculated; has a continuing relationship with the College such as when studying abroad, on an exchange program, on vacation or break, on a leave of absence, on a suspension or ban from campus, or when using College property or facilities or living on-campus; or who has not yet graduated or who continues to be registered or eligible with any divisions of SCAS as a degree or certificate candidate.
This Code covers student and student group/organization misconduct as discussed in Section II below. This Code does not address academic misconduct, which is covered by applicable College and divisional policies.
Students are expected to read, be familiar with, and abide by this Code. The Principal is responsible for the implementation and administration of this Code. Students should consult the Director of Student Services or their divisional designee about questions concerning student activities, student life, and student affairs.
The College may amend this Code from time to time. Nothing in this Code shall affect the inherent authority of the College to take such actions as it deems appropriate to further the educational mission of the College or to protect the safety and security of the College community.
In addition to maintaining good academic standing, students and student groups/organizations (whether recognized by the College or not) in covered schools and divisions must refrain from the following conduct, which is prohibited, irrespective of location (i.e., on or off College property) and whether committed against members of the College community or others:
- Conduct that disrupts or interferes with the orderly functioning of the College, the performance of the duties of College personnel or other College business or activities, including without limitation studying, teaching, research, administration (including without limitation that of College property (e.g., blocking entrances and exits is prohibited).
- The physical or emotional abuse of any person or any action that threatens physical or emotional harm or endangers the physical or emotional well-being, health or safety of any person.
- Any physical or verbal threats against or harassment, bullying or intimidation of any person(s).
- Conduct or a pattern of conduct not of a sexual nature (including without limitation physical, verbal, graphic, written, or electronic) in which a person approaches or pursues another person(s) with intent to place the person(s) in fear of physical harm or with intent to harass, bully or intimidate the person(s).
- Conduct that violates the College’s Policy on Hazing, or other conduct or a pattern of conduct that harasses a person or group of persons.
- Conduct that violates the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures, including sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual harassment.
- The theft, destruction, damage to, or wrongful appropriation or vandalism of College, public or private property, or knowingly possessing stolen property.
- The unauthorized or illegal use, possession, storage, transportation, sale, distribution, manufacture, or transfer of any weapons (including without limitation guns, firearms, shotguns, rifles, air rifles, paintball and pellet guns, BB guns, Tasers, and knives), chemicals, or explosives (including without limitation fireworks), or conduct that violates the College’s Policy on Possession of Firearms on College Premises or Drug, Alcohol, and Firearms Policies for Students.
- The unauthorized or illegal use, possession, manufacture (synthesis or growth), sale, storage, transfer, transportation, or distribution of any controlled substance (including without limitation illegal drugs), or conduct that violates the College’s Policy on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Drug-free Environment and Drug, Alcohol, or Firearms Policies for Students.
- The possession, consumption or manufacture of alcohol by individuals under the legal drinking age under applicable law or the provision, distribution or sale of alcohol to individuals under the legal drinking age under applicable law, or conduct that violates the Drug, Alcohol, and Firearms Policies for Students.
- The failure to comply with the directions of College officials, administrators, faculty, or staff, or law enforcement acting in performance of their duties.
- The unauthorized or improper use or misuse of College property, facilities, resources, or services, or the College name or seal.
- The misuse or abuse of any College computer, computer system, or computer, internet or communications service, program, data, network, or resource, or conduct that violates the College’s Acceptable Use Policies.
- The violation of any international or Central, state or local law, statute, regulation, code, or ordinance.
- Conduct that disturbs the peace or impinges on the rights of residents of neighborhoods, including without limitation: loud parties or excessive noise; shouting or talking that unreasonably disturbs other students or community members; public urination; drinking in public; littering or not disposing of trash appropriately; or failure to reasonably maintain yards or premises.
- The hosting or conducting of an event in violation of College, divisional or unit policies or procedures.
- Conduct that hinders, obstructs, or interferes with investigations, hearings, sanctions/corrective actions, appeals, and other implementation or administrative processes of this Code or any other College, divisional or unit policy or procedure.
- The failure to comply with the terms of any College, interim measures, or disciplinary sanctions/corrective actions.
- Condoning, supporting or otherwise encouraging any violation of this Code; students who observe a violation of College policy are expected to remove themselves from participation and are encouraged to report the violation.
- The making, attempting to make, sharing, or distribution of an audio or visual recording, or photographing of, any person(s) without the knowledge and consent of all such person(s) in locations where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, and when the action causes or is likely to cause injury, distress, or damage to reputation or violates applicable law.
- The possession, sale or manufacture of any false or altered form of identification, the improper use of any identification card, including knowingly altering a College student identification card, or using the identification card of another, or allowing one’s own card to be used by another.
- The unauthorized burning of any material in or on any College building or property, including arson or tampering with any fire or other safety equipment.
- Any forgery or fraud, including without limitation attempts to obtain any item of value under false pretenses, or falsification, forgery, alteration, destruction or misuse of official College documents or seal.
- The participation in any form of gambling in violation of applicable law.
- Knowingly making a false statement or fabricating evidence in connection with a matter under this Code or any other College policy or procedure.
- Conduct that would adversely affect the integrity or mission of a whole or part of the College.
- Violations of any College, divisional or unit policy or procedure, including without limitation those concerned with:
- Student Activities
- Off-Campus Party Registration and Safety Policy
- Discrimination and Harassment
- Student Organizations
- Housing and Dining
- Information Technology
- Intellectual Property
- Parking and Traffic Regulations
- Identification Cards
The College reserves the right to institute disciplinary action whether or not the alleged misconduct results or may result in action by a civil or criminal court or a governmental authority. Any disciplinary action at the College will normally proceed irrespective of and separate from any action taken by courts or governmental authorities.
Violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy, namely sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking will be investigated and resolved pursuant to the procedures in that policy.
The College prohibits any retaliatory action for the good faith reporting of alleged misconduct under this Code, assisting another in making such a report, or participating in an investigation or resolution of such matters. Students and student groups/organizations may not, and may not attempt to, directly or indirectly, harass, intimidate, threaten, coerce, discriminate, retaliate against, or improperly influence any individual associated with or participating in the student conduct process or who exercises his or her rights or responsibilities under this Code or the law. Any retaliation or attempts thereof should be promptly reported to the divisional designee or Office of Student Affairs. The College shall take prompt and equitable action to address reports of retaliation.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Any student or student group/organization who participates in the student conduct process, whether as a reporter, respondent, witness or otherwise, has the following rights in the process, as may be applicable to the particular party:
- To be treated with dignity and respect throughout the conduct process;
- To a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution of the alleged misconduct;
- To have the allegations investigated and resolved by individuals who are appropriately trained and impartial;
- To raise the potential conflict of any College personnel participating in the conduct process;
- To be accompanied by an advisor (other than an attorney, witness or certain SCAS personnel) to meetings and hearings, if any, in the conduct process (see below); and
- To not be retaliated against for participation in the conduct process.
Respondents in the student conduct process have the following additional rights:
- To be notified by the College of the allegations at least five (5) business days prior to any conduct proceeding (except in the case of a graduating student);
- To have the opportunity to respond to information considered by any hearing administrator or board consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (“FERPA”) and to protect other confidential information;
- To receive notice of the outcome of the conduct process in writing in accordance with FERPA and other applicable law (notice of the outcome will also be provided to reporters in accordance with and when required by FERPA and other applicable law); and
- To be advised of the appeals process.
The student conduct process will primarily communicate with students through their official College email address. Students are expected check their official College email on a regular basis.
Students and others involved in the conduct process are encouraged to be forthright and as specific as possible, but may choose if and the extent to which they share information. Any person who knowingly makes a false statement or fabricates evidence in connection with student conduct matters may be subject to disciplinary action under this Code.
Both reporters and respondents may be accompanied by one advisor of their choosing throughout the student conduct process; provided, that attorneys and witnesses may not serve as advisors. College personnel employed in the offices responsible for the conduct process, along with those in the chain of command above them, personnel employed by the Office of the General Counsel, and others whose participation could create a conflict of interest and/or reasonably call into question the impartiality of the process are also not eligible to serve as advisors.
The advisor may accompany the party to any meeting or hearing held pursuant to this Code. During any such meeting or proceeding, an advisor may advise and provide support to the party but may not speak on the party’s behalf or otherwise participate, or address or question the investigator, hearing administrator or board, or other parties or witnesses. The advisor may make written submission on the party’s behalf.
Advisors who do not comply with the structure of their role may be asked to leave the meeting or hearing and/or may be restricted from further participation in the process, and the investigation or disciplinary proceeding will continue without the advisor’s presence. Should the respondent choose to bring an advisor, the respondent should inform the conduct administrator or designee(s) of the name of the advisor in writing at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the meeting or hearing.
Reports of alleged Code violations should be filed with or reported to the college designee set forth below:
Director of Student Services: email@example.com
Any student, faculty, staff, administrator, or a concerned party may initiate a complaint under this Code and is referred to as a “reporter”. The student or student group/organization who is alleged to have violated the Code is referred to as the “respondent.” Persons are encouraged to bring complaints under this Code as soon after the alleged misconduct as is reasonably possible.
Upon receipt of a report or complaint of student misconduct, and pending the resolution of the matter under this Code, the Director for Student Affairs or divisional designee may impose or coordinate interim measures with respect to the parties or others involved to protect the health or safety of one more students or other members of the College community, to protect College property, to protect the integrity of the student conduct process, and/or to otherwise assist or support the parties or others involved.
Interim measures may be implemented at any time during the student conduct process and may include without limitation no-contact orders, denial of privileges or associations, removal from or relocation within the residential community, changes to academic schedules, including not being permitted to attend one or more classes, cease and desist orders, a ban from campus, and/or suspension.
Violations of interim measures violate this Code and may result in further disciplinary action.
For interim measures involving complaints of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking see the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The College’s conduct process is an educational tool with two major objectives: to hold students and student groups/ organizations accountable for unacceptable behavior and to modify those behaviors deemed unacceptable by the College. The conduct process strives to address unacceptable behavior in an effort to guide students toward a greater sense of both individual and shared responsibility and toward more ethical decision making.
While the College encourages the parties to participate fully in the conduct process with regard to their case, the reporter and/or respondent may decline to participate in the conduct process. The College may however continue the process without the reporter and/or respondent’s participation, including without limitation cases in which a party has withdrawn, transferred or graduated from the College. A respondent must comply with any disciplinary measures or sanctions/corrective actions issued pursuant to the conduct process, even if the respondent has declined to participate in the process.
Upon the receipt of a complaint of misconduct under this Code, a conduct administrator or designee(s) (a trained student affairs administrator or staff member) will be assigned to the case and gather information regarding the alleged misconduct in order to determine the appropriate means of resolution. This gathering of information may include without limitation meetings with or requests for statements from the parties and witnesses, and review of any related and available documents and other information. The conduct administrator or designee(s) may dismiss a complaint for a lack of sufficient information or if the alleged conduct does not fall within conduct prohibited by this Code. Absent these circumstances, the complaint will be resolved as explained below.
Standard of Evidence
The standard of evidence required for a determination of responsibility for misconduct under this Code is a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that it is more likely than not that the alleged misconduct occurred.
Types of Conduct Proceedings
There are two types of conduct proceedings – an administrative hearing and a conduct board hearing except in cases for which a sanction of notification is imposed; these cases which may in the discretion of the conduct administrator or designee(s) proceed without a hearing. The conduct administrator or designee(s) will, after the initial inquiry, decide whether a case will be resolved through an administrative hearing or a conduct board hearing. In making this decision, the conduct administrator or designee(s) will consider the nature of the alleged misconduct and potential sanctions/corrective actions, the complexity of the facts, the prior disciplinary history of the respondent, and other relevant information and factors. Except in cases for which a sanction of notification is imposed and which may proceed without a hearing as described above, the respondent will be notified regarding the alleged violation(s) of the Code that are under consideration in advance of any hearing.
An administrative hearing involves a meeting between the conduct administrator or designee(s) and the respondent. In the case of minor violations that occur in College housing, the conduct administrator will be a trained Residential Life staff member. The conduct administrator or designee(s) may also meet with the reporter, witnesses and others involved and obtain and review relevant evidence. The conduct administrator or designee(s) will review the allegations and evidence with the respondent and give the respondent an opportunity to respond. The conduct administrator or designee(s) will determine based on preponderance of the evidence whether the respondent is responsible for the alleged Code violation(s), and, if so, issue (an) appropriate sanction(s).
Conduct Board Hearings
The conduct board is comprised of trained College students, faculty and staff appointed for annual terms by the Principal or designee to hear alleged violations of this Code.
The board, comprised of three student members and two staff and/or faculty members, is charged with determining based on a preponderance of the evidence whether a respondent’s actions constitute a violation of this Code and, if so, determining appropriate sanction(s). The board shall make its determination of responsibility and sanctions/corrective actions by majority vote, except that unanimity is required for a sanction of expulsion. The hearing is a closed proceeding, meaning that no one other than the board members and necessary College personnel, may be present. The reporter and respondent, their respective advisors, and witnesses called to the hearing will be present in the hearing room only when making a statement or being questioned by the board.
In general, hearings will proceed as follows, although the board has discretion to alter the order or manner in which it hears or receives evidence, and to impose time limits on any stage of the process:
- opening statement from the reporter, if applicable
- opening statement from the respondent
- questioning of the reporter by the board, if applicable
- questioning of the respondent by the board
- questioning of the witnesses, if any, by the board
- closing statement from the reporter, if applicable
- closing statement from respondent
The hearing administrator or board may request the presence of any witness with relevant information about a case. The respondent may bring relevant material witnesses to speak on the respondent’s behalf. Absent exceptional circumstances, the respondent should inform the conduct administrator or designee(s) in writing at least three (3) business days in advance of any meeting or hearing the names of the witnesses and to what they will attest. The hearing administrator or board may determine whether and the extent to which witnesses will be permitted to participate or questioned in any meeting or hearing, including whether their testimony is relevant.
All personnel conducting investigations and hearings under this Code shall be trained on applicable policies, procedures and issues related to student conduct, including conducting investigations and hearings, as applicable.
Procedures and Evidence
The student conduct process operates under a standard of fundamental fairness, which includes prior notice to the respondent of the allegations of misconduct under this Code and an opportunity to be heard by the College.
Conduct proceedings are not trials and do not follow formal rules of procedure and evidence used in courts of law. Neither the reporter nor the respondent is allowed to cross-examine one another or any witnesses. Only the hearing administrator or board is permitted to ask questions of the parties and witnesses. A party may however submit questions for the other party or witnesses in writing to the hearing administrator or board. The administrator and board are encouraged to include all relevant questions, but may, in their discretion, ask, alter or omit any or all submitted questions.
The conduct administrator or designee(s) and conduct board determine the relevance of evidence, and may consider all relevant evidence and assign appropriate weight to such evidence in light of all relevant factors. The administrator and board may also place restrictions on or exclude any witnesses or information.
The parties may in the course of the conduct process be privy to confidential and sensitive information, such as the identity of the parties, details regarding the incident, and other information. Students should respect the confidentiality of this information.
Complaints of sexual misconduct will be investigated and resolved under the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The hearing administrator or board may consider the following factors in determining sanctions/corrective actions:
- The specific misconduct at issue;
- The circumstances surrounding the misconduct (e.g., force, threat, coercion, etc.);
- The respondent’s state of mind (bias-motivated, reckless, negligent, etc.);
- The respondent’s prior disciplinary history;
- The safety of the College’s community;
- The respondent’s conduct during the investigation and resolution process; and
- Such other factors as deemed appropriate.
A non-exhaustive list of possible sanctions is discussed below.
A student group/organization may be held responsible for misconduct by its individual members and guests. Additionally, individual members of student groups/organizations may be subject to disciplinary action for misconduct under this Code. The decision to hold a group or organization responsible as a whole is ultimately determined by considering all the facts and circumstances of a situation, including without limitation, one or more of the following:
- The action(s) were committed or condoned (actively or passively) by one or more officers or authorized group/organization representatives acting in the name or on behalf of the group/organization.
- The action(s) involved or were committed or condoned by (actively or passively) a significant number of group/organization members, alumni, or guests.
- The action(s) occurred at or in connection with an activity or event funded, sponsored, publicized, advertised, or promoted by the group/organization.
- The action(s) occurred at a location in which the group/organization had control at the time of the action(s), including without limitation official or unofficial chapter houses or other satellite locations.
- The action(s) occurred at or in connection with an activity or event that a reasonable person would associate with the group/organization.
- The action(s) involved the expenditure of group/organizational funds or funds collected by individual members in the name of, for or on behalf of the group/organization.
- The action(s) would be attributable to the group/organization under College or external policies or procedures applicable to the group/organization, including without limitation local, national or international risk management guidelines.
- The action(s) were taken by individuals who, but for their affiliation with the group/organization, would not have been involved in the incident.
- The group/organization, or any member acting on its behalf, fails to complete or violates the terms of any interim measure, disciplinary measure or sanction.
- Other appropriate factors.
Notification of Outcome and Sanctions/Corrective Actions
The hearing administrator or board will notify the respondent of the outcome of the hearing and sanctions/corrective actions, if any. Notice of the outcome and sanctions/corrective will be provided to the reporter in accordance with and when required by FERPA and other applicable law.
A respondent may appeal the outcome of a hearing in writing to the Director of Student Affairs or divisional designee (or their designee) within five (5) business days of the date of the notice of outcome on the sole grounds of:
- A procedural error that could have affected the determination or sanction(s);
- New information that was not available at the time of the investigation or hearing and that could reasonably have affected the determination or sanction(s); and
- Excessiveness or insufficiency of the sanction(s).
The appeal is not a re-hearing of the case, but an opportunity to provide a written statement specifically stating the grounds for the appeal and any supporting information. The burden is on the respondent bringing the appeal to demonstrate why the finding or sanction should be altered. Appeal requests will be denied if there are insufficient grounds for the appeal.
This section lists some of the sanctions/corrective actions that may be imposed upon students and student groups/organizations for violation of this Code. The College reserves the right, at its discretion, to impose more stringent or different sanctions/corrective actions depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Note, sanctions for student misconduct under this Code are generally cumulative in nature.
Possible sanctions/corrective actions against students, in increasing order of severity include without limitation one or more of the following:
The student is notified in writing that his or her actions constitute a violation of the Student Conduct Code. Unless the notification states otherwise, no additional action or meeting is required.
Student is notified that the student’s actions constituted a violation of the Student Conduct Code and that further violations will result in further disciplinary action.
Student is required to make restitution for misuse, damage or destruction of or to College, public or private property or services. Examples include without limitation costs of repair, replacement, recovery, cleaning, or otherwise restoring the property or services affected.
Student is required to perform designated educational activities.
Denial of Privileges or Associations
Student is notified that, for a specified period of time, certain privileges or associations within or related to the College are withdrawn. This sanction may include without limitation the termination of residence hall contracts, removal from athletic events, cessation on participation in recreational sports activities, and revocation of the privileges of using certain College facilities.
Student is notified that the student’s status with the College, for a specified period of time, is such that further violations of the Student Conduct Code within this period of time will result in the student being considered for immediate suspension or other appropriate disciplinary action from the College. If at the end of the specified time period no further violations have occurred, the student is removed from probationary status.
In some cases, a sanction may be held in abeyance for a specified period of time. This means that, if the student is found responsible for any violation of College policy during that period of time, the student will be subject to the deferred sanction without further review in addition to the disciplinary action appropriate to the new violation. For serious misconduct, the conferring of an academic degree will be deferred for the duration of the sanction.
Student is notified that the student is separated from the College for a specified period of time. The student must leave campus and vacate campus residence halls, if applicable, within the time prescribed and is prohibited from College property and events. A suspension may be effective immediately or at a later date in the discretion of the hearing administrator or board based on consideration of relevant factors, including without limitation the nature of the misconduct and the health and safety of the student and others in the College community. The student’s academic transcript will contain a notation for the duration of the suspension stating that the student was suspended by College action. The conferring of an academic degree may be deferred for the duration of the suspension. A student must receive written permission from the College prior to re-enrollment or re-application. While serving a disciplinary suspension, academic work completed at another institution will not be recognized for credit transfer.
Expulsion means the permanent removal of the student from the College. Expulsion includes a forfeiture of all rights and degrees not actually conferred at the time of the expulsion, notification of the expulsion to the student’s division, permanent notation of the expulsion on the student’s University records and academic transcript, withdrawal from all courses according to divisional policies, and the forfeiture of tuition and fees. Any student expelled from the College is prohibited from College property and events and future reapplication to the College.
Release and Retention of Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (“FERPA”), the law that governs release of and access to student education records, gives students certain rights with respect to their education records. This includes the right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The College may thus release education records in compliance with FERPA and the College’s FERPA policies.
Students should be aware that, in keeping with applicable law and College policy, the notification of the outcome/sanctions/corrective actions against students and, if applicable, other pertinent information may be shared with to the Director of Student Affairs, divisional designees, the Athletic Department (in cases involving athletes), the Director of Residence Life (in cases involving residence hall students), and victims of crimes of violence (including sexual assault).
Student records pertaining to disciplinary matters that result in expulsion are kept permanently and will be released upon request to third parties (e.g., graduate schools, employers, or licensing agencies, etc.) with the student’s consent or as otherwise permitted by FERPA or College policy. Student records pertaining to disciplinary matters that do not result in expulsion are kept for a period of seven (7) years from the date of the incident, and are similarly subject to release during this period of time, provided that disciplinary matters resulting in a sanction less than probation will not be released unless requested and consented to by the applicable student.
The College may also upon request and consent release to third parties student records pertaining to disciplinary matters that remain unresolved and pending at the time a student withdrew from the College, with the student’s consent or as otherwise permitted by FERPA or College policy. These records are kept permanently; if resolved, they are maintained according to the policies above.
Records pertaining to disciplinary action against student groups/organizations are not considered to be private. Notification of charges and sanctions/corrective actions may be sent to group/organizational advisors, national chapters/headquarters, and others, when appropriate.
Disciplinary matters are not recorded on a student’s academic transcript except in cases of suspension and expulsion. In cases of suspension, a temporary notation is placed on the student’s academic transcript for the duration of the suspension period.
The parents and/or legal guardians of students under the age of twenty-one (21) at the time of disclosure may in the College’s discretion be notified if their child is found responsible for certain violations of the College’s alcohol or drug policies, and in cases that result in suspension and expulsion.