South Central College recognizes that all students have responsibilities as citizens and as members of the college community. Student responsibilities include regular attendance, punctuality, positive relationships with other students and staff, appropriate behavior and attitude, and acceptable progress, all of which are necessary to assure success in the college. Students are expected to assume personal responsibility as adults for their behavior without supervision.

This code of student conduct incorporates appropriate due process and identifies steps to be taken when conduct occurs which may violate the code. The college may revise the code as needed, however shall provide notification to students.

Definitions

  • The term college property includes all land, buildings, facilities and other property, real and personal, possessed, owned, leased, used or controlled by the college, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.
  • The term faculty member means any person hired by the college to conduct classroom activities.
  • The term member of college community includes any person who is a student, faculty member, administrator or any other person employed by the college.
  • The term student includes all persons who:
    • Are enrolled in one or more courses, either credit or non-credit, through the college;
    • Withdraw, transfer or graduate, after an alleged violation of the student conduct code;
    • Are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college;
    • Have been notified of their acceptance for admission or have initiated the process of application for admission or financial aid; and/or
    • A person who was enrolled during a spring term and is expected to enroll for the subsequent fall term is a student during the interim.
  • The term administrator means that person designated by the college president to be responsible for the administration of the Student Conduct Code.
  • The term student conduct panel means a panel appointed to provide formal review and decision in student conduct hearings.
  • The term policy means the written regulations of the college and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code, the college and MnSCU Web pages, Board Policy and System Procedure 5.18 and 5.18.1 on Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances on Campus, Board Policy and System Procedure 5.22 and 5.22.1 on Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources, and the college catalog.
  • The term preponderance of evidence means a standard of responsibility that it is more likely than not that the code has been violated.
  • The term summary suspension means a suspension imposed without a formal hearing to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the college community.
  • The term suspension means denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-enrollment may be specified.

College Jurisdiction

College jurisdiction is asserted for violations of the code of student conduct that occur on college property. College jurisdiction shall also extend to violations of the code that are not committed on college property when:

  • The violation involves hazing; or
  • The violation is committed while participating in a college sanctioned or sponsored activity; or
  • The victim of the violation is a member of the college community; or
  • The violation is a felony under federal or state law; or
  • The violation adversely effects the educational, research, or service functions of the college.

The administrator shall decide whether the Student Code shall be applied to conduct occurring off-campus, on a case-by-case basis, in his/her sole discretion.

Student Conduct - Behavioral Proscriptions

  • All students have the responsibility to:
    • Comply with all local, state and federal laws.
    • Comply with all college or board policies, rules, or regulations published in hard copy or available electronically on the college or MnSCU Web site.
    • Recognize and respect the rights of others.
    • Assist the college staff with maintaining a safe college environment.
    • Respect and maintain college property.
    • Dress in a manner that meets standards of safety and health and is appropriate for the occupation for which the student is preparing.
  • Examples of conduct which violate the code of student conduct and are subject to disciplinary sanctions by the college include, but are not limited to:
    • Violation of local, state or federal laws.
    • Violation of published policies, rules procedures or regulations of the Board of Trustees or of the college.
    • Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to forging, altering or misusing college documents or records.
    •  Knowingly furnished false information, oral or written, to the college.
    • Failure to comply with directions of college officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
    • Failure to comply with conditions of sanctions imposed by the college as a result of previous conduct code action.
    • Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on college premises or use of any such item, even if legally possessed, in a manner that harms, threatens or causes fear to others.
    • Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, narcotics or other controlled substances on college property or at college sponsored or supervised activities except as expressly permitted by law.
    • Attending college classes or activities while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or other controlled substances.
    • Violating smoking regulations.
    • Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, coercion or other conduct which endangers or threatens to endanger the health or safety of any person.
    • Hazing which means an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person, subjects a person to public humiliation or ridicule, or which destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in, a student group, organization or athletic team.
    • Conduct which results in injury or death to a member of the college community or a visitor to the college.
    • Engaging in fighting; assault or battery upon a member of the college community or a visitor to the college; engaging in abusive, lewd or profane language; engaging in boisterous or noisy conduct reasonably intended to arouse alarm, resentment or anger in others; disrupting classes, meetings or other college activities.
    • Unauthorized entry into college property.
    • Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other college activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or of other authorized non-college activities when the conduct occurs on college premises.
    • Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any college premises or unauthorized entry to or use of college premises.
    • Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot or activity that disrupts the normal operations of the college and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the college community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area.
    • Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on college premises or at college sponsored or supervised functions.
    • Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on college premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by, the college or members of the academic community. Disorderly conduct includes but is not limited to: any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on college premises without his/her prior knowledge, or without his/her effective consistent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom.
    • Any violation of the College Computer Use Policy or Board Policy 5.22 and System Procedure 5.22.1 on Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources.
    • Abuse of the student conduct system.
    • Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the college or property of a member of the college community or other personal or public property, on or off campus.
  • Allegations of discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence shall be resolved pursuant to Board Policy 1B.1, Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education Opportunity, System Procedure 1B.1.1, Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigation and Resolution, Board Policy 1B.3, Sexual Violence Policy, System Procedure 1B.3.1, Sexual Violence Procedure. Allegations of fraud or dishonest acts shall be resolved pursuant to Board Policy 1C.2, Fraudulent or Other Dishonest Acts.
  • Academic standards discipline, including academic probation and suspension shall be conducted under the satisfactory academic progress policy. The procedures described in this code of student conduct shall not apply to academic discipline standards.

Complaint, Investigation, and Informal Meeting

Any member of the college community may file a complaint against a student violating the code of student conduct. Complaints shall be prepared in writing and shall be filed with the Dean responsible for the program or course(s) in which the student is enrolled. A complaint shall be submitted as soon as possible after the conduct takes place, preferably within three days. Persons filing complains shall be informed of their rights under the Minnesota Data Practices Act. The Dean with whom the complaint is filed shall conduct a preliminary investigation of the complaint. If the complaint is unwarranted, the Dean may discontinue proceedings. If there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint, he Dean shall offer the accused student an opportunity to resolve the alleged violation at an informal meeting. Prior to this meeting, the student shall be given written notice of the specific complaint against him/her and the nature of the evidence available to support the complaint and provided with a copy of the code of conduct. During the meetings the administrator shall review the complaint and the evidence with the student and allow the student o present a defense against the complaint. Within a reasonable time period following the meeting, the Dean shall inform the accused student in writing of his/her decision whether a violation of the code was established by a preponderance of evidence and any applicable sanction as well as options available for an appeal and/or a formal hearing.

The student who is subject to a sanction or expulsion or suspension, except summary suspension, for more than nine (9) days may agree to accept the sanction, or may request a formal hearing. Other sanctions shall be accepted or may be appealed in accordance with the college’s appeal procedures.

If the accused student fails to appear for the informal hearing, the administrator may proceed to review and act upon the complaint in his/her absence and shall notify the student in writing of an action taken.

A sanction shall not become effective during the time in which a student seeks an appeal or formal hearing, unless, in the discretion of the administrator, it is necessary to implement an immediate sanction for the safety and welfare of the college community.

If a mutually acceptable resolution cannot be reached during the informal meeting, including any applicable sanctions, the Dean shall refer the charge to the student conduct panel for formal adjudication.

Formal Hearings

  • The Vice President of Academic Affairs shall be a member of, and shall chair the student conduct panel. The Vice President of Academic Affairs shall appoint a Dean, a college counselor and a faculty or staff member as members of the panel. A Dean that refers or presents a charge to the panel shall not be a member of the panel that adjudicates the charge. The campus student association shall appoint a student as a member of the panel. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will provide appropriate training for members of the panel. A majority of the panel members shall constitute the quorum necessary to hear any case.

  • When a Dean refers a charge to the panel, the Dean shall forward to the panel:
    • A statement describing the alleged violation of the code of student conduct;
    • The name and address of the student charged;
    • The name and address of the complainant; and
    • All relevant facts and statements, including the names and addresses of witnesses to the alleged violation.
  • The Vice President of Academic Affairs, as chair of the panel, shall determine the time, date and place of the hearing, which shall be at least two days after delivery of written notice of the hearing to the accused student. Such notice to the student shall include:
    • A statement of the date, time and place of the hearing;
    • A description of the charge and, to the extent known, a list of witnesses expected to appear and a summary of their testimony;
    • A summary description of any documentary or other evidence that may be presented in support of a charge;
    • Notice that the student’s failure to appear will not prevent the hearing from proceeding as scheduled and may lead to imposition of sanctions in the student’s absence.
    • Notice that the student may have an advisor present, and if there is a likelihood that the student will face criminal prosecution related to the charge, notice that the student may wish to retain an attorney to act as the student’s advisor.
  • The hearing shall be conducted in the following manner:
    • The Dean of the program or course in which the student is enrolled shall first present the charge and supporting evidence, including testimony of any witnesses. The accused student shall have opportunity to challenge evidence and to ask questions of any witnesses introduced by the Dean.
    • The accused student shall next present evidence or testimony to refute the charge. The Dean may challenge evidence presented by the student and may ask questions of witnesses introduced by the student.
    • Only those materials and matters presented at the hearing shall be considered as evidence. The chair shall exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
    • The hearing shall be held in closed session unless a majority of the panel determines there is a compelling reason for the hearing to be open and neither the accused student nor the complainant presents an objection.
    • The student shall be given the opportunity to speak in their own defense, to present witnesses, to question any witnesses and may have an advisor present.
  • The advisor may provide advice to the student, but may not participate in any questioning. When there is a likelihood that a student involved in conduct proceedings will face criminal prosecution for a serious offense, it may be advisable that the student have an attorney as the advisor.
    • The hearing shall be audio tape recorded, and the tape shall be kept on file in the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs for a period of three years.
  • Upon conclusion of the hearing, the panel in closed session shall consider the evidence presented and decide by a majority vote to exonerate the student or to impose one of the sanctions listed in the code of student conduct.
  • The panel shall send written notice of its findings and conclusions to the accused student, including any sanction imposed. The notice shall inform the student of the opportunity to appeal the panel’s decision to the College President within ten days of the decision. Additionally, in cases where the sanction imposed is expulsion or suspension for ten days or longer, the notice shall inform the student of the student’s right to a contested case hearing under Minnesota law.

Appeals

  • A student may appeal a decision of the student conduct panel to the College President. The appeal shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the office of the College President within ten days of the decision. The College President may designate another college employee to review the appeal and to render a decision.
  • An appeal shall be limited to review of the record of the hearing and the written appeal for one or more of the following purposes:
    • To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charge and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of the charge and evidence.
    • To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on evidence that demonstrated it was more likely than not that the student violated the code of student conduct.
    • To determine whether the sanction or sanctions imposed were appropriate for the violation of the code of student conduct which the student was found to have committed.
  • Following a review of the hearing and of the appeal presented by the student, the College President or designee shall render a decision. The College President or designee may uphold the panel’s decision and sanction, may determine that the decision was reached in error or inappropriately, or may determine that the decision was reached in error or inappropriately, or may determine that the sanction was inappropriate. In the latter case, the College President or designee may issue a lesser sanction. If the College President or designee believes that the sanction was reached in error or inappropriately, the College President or designee may require that the panel hear the case de novo, or may choose to exonerate the student. The College President or designee shall notify the student in writing of the College President’s or designee’s decision and of any new sanction imposed. The College President’s or designee’s decision shall be final within the institution and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. If the sanction involves suspension for ten days or more, or expulsion, the College President’s or designee’s decision shall inform the student of the right to a contested case hearing under Chapter 14 of Minnesota Statutes.

Sanctions

Conduct which violates the code of student conduct may result in the sanctions listed below.

  • Warning: A written notice to the student that their conduct violates the student conduct code. The warning allows the student an opportunity to correct the unacceptable conduct before more serious sanctions are imposed.
  • Probation: A written reprimand that a student has violated the conduct code. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of additional disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating the conduct code during the probationary period.
  • Suspension: An action which excludes a student for a specific period of time from registration and class attendance. Upon termination of the period of suspension, the student shall be considered for registration, but conditions for readmission may be specified. Further misconduct, after re-admission, may result in expulsion.
  • Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time
  • Restitution: Requiring a student to compensate the college for loss or damage to college property, or for misappropriation of college funds. This may take the form of monetary or material replacement, or appropriate service.
  • Expulsion: Permanent denial of the privilege of registration, class attendance or any other use of college property.
  •  Discretionary Sanctions: Work assignments, essays, service to the college, or other related discretionary assignments.
  • Revocation of Admission and/or Degree: Admission to or a degree awarded from the college may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of college standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
  • Withholding Degree: The college may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion the process set forth in this student conduct code, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation. Unless required by Board of Trustees’ policy, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s confidential record.

The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:

  • Those sanctions listed above.
  • Deactivation: Loss of all privileges, including college recognition, for a specified period of time.

Summary Suspension

  • A Dean may impose a summary suspension on a student without the informal meeting or formal hearing described in this code of conduct if the Dean has reasonable cause to believe that the student’s continued presence on college property is a threat to the safety and well-being of members of the college community or to college property. In such cases, the Dean shall first meet with the student and give the student oral or written notice of the Dean’s intention to impose the summary suspension and the reasons supporting the intended suspension. The Dean shall give the student an opportunity to present the student’s side of the story. If summary suspension is warranted, the Dean shall summarily suspend the student and give the student immediate oral notice of the Dean’s decision. The Dean shall provide the student an opportunity for an informal meeting with the Dean or for a formal hearing before the student conduct panel within the shortest reasonable time period, not to exceed nine days from the date of the summary suspension. The Dean shall provide the student with written notice of the Dean’s decision to summarily suspend the student.
  • During the summary suspension, the student may not remain on or enter college property without obtaining prior permission from the Dean. A student who is summarily suspended and does not leave college property upon receiving oral notice of the summary suspension, or who returns to college property after receiving oral notice of such summary suspension, may be subject to permanent expulsion. A suspended student’s refusal to leave college property will be considered trespassing. Local law enforcement officials may be called for assistance.

Expulsion

Expulsion means permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment at the college.
Code of Conduct Reporting Form

AASC 1/28/11