A. Purpose: South Central College has established procedures to implement this policy.

B. Definitions:

  1. “College” means South Central College.
  2. “Administrator” means that person designated by the college president to be responsible for the administration of the student Code of Conduct by serving as the Hearing Officer.
  3. “Alleged student violator” means any student accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct.
  4. “College premises” include all land, buildings, facilities and other property in the possession of or owned, used or controlled by the College, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.  The Student Code of Conduct applies at all locations rented by the College, including facilities as part of the Education for Global Learning program.
  5. “Complainant” means any person who submits a complaint alleging that a student violated the Code of Conduct.  A student who believes that s/he has been a victim of another student’s misconduct will have the same rights under this Code as are provided to the Complainant, even if another member of the College community submitted the complaint itself.
  6. “Hearing Officer” means the person dedicated to preside over procedural matters under review by the Student Right and Responsibilities Board.
  7. “Student” includes all persons who:
  8. Are enrolled in one or more courses, either credit or non-credit through the College.
  9. Withdraw, transfer, or graduate after an alleged violation of the student Code of Conduct.
  10. Are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college.
  11. Have been notified of their acceptance for admission or have initiated the process of application for admission or financial aid.
  12. “Member of the college community” includes any person who is a student, staff or faculty member, administrator or any other person employed by the college.
  13. “Organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for College registration as a Student Senate recognized club or Student Life funded group.
  14. “Preponderance of evidence” means a standard of responsibility that more likely than not the Code has been violated.
  15. “Student Rights and Responsibilities Board (SRRB) means any person or persons authorized by the Dean of Student Affairs and appointed by the SCC Student Senate to determine whether a student has violated the Code and to recommend sanctions that may be imposed or to consider an appeal as to whether a student has violated the Code or the sanctions imposed by the hearing Officer.
  16. “Hearing Officer means the person dedicated to preside over procedural matters under review by the Student Rights and Responsibilities Board.
  17. “Summary Suspension” means a suspension imposed without a formal hearing to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College Community.
  18. “Suspension” means denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specific period of time after which the student is eligible to return.  Conditions may be specified. 

C. Investigation and informal Process:

Any member of the college community may submit in writing any concern that a student or organization has violated the Student Conduct Code. The submitter shall be informed of rights in accordance with applicable privacy laws and policies including, but not limited to the Minnesota Government Data Privacy Act (MGDPA), the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and South Central College’s Data Privacy Policy. Following the submission of a concern against a student or student organization, the Administrator shall conduct an investigation of the allegations. The process will include the following practices:

  1. If the concern seems unwarranted, the Administrator may discontinue the proceedings.
  2. If there is sufficient evidence, the Administrator shall give the student written notice of the specific concern against him/her and the nature of the evidence available to support that concern, as well as a copy of the Student Code of Conduct. The accused student will be invited to attend an informal meeting with the Administrator where the accused student shall have the opportunity to accept responsibility and resolve the alleged violation or present a defense against the complaint. If the student accepts responsibility and agrees to a sanction, there shall be no subsequent proceedings. Within a reasonable time period following the meeting, the Administrator will 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.
  3. 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.

D. Summary Suspension:

In certain circumstances, the Administrator may impose a summary suspension prior to the informal or formal proceedings. A summary suspension may be imposed only when, in the judgment of the Administrator, the accused student’s presence on the college campus would constitute a threat to the safety and well-being of members of the college community. To the greatest extent possible before implementing the summary suspension, the accused student shall be given oral or written notice of the intention to impose the summary suspension and shall be given an opportunity to present oral or written arguments against the imposition of the suspension. Notice of the intention to impose the summary suspension shall be provided in writing to the student. After the student has been summarily suspended, the student shall be provided an opportunity for an informal or formal hearing within the shortest reasonable time period, not to exceed nine (9) school or business days. During the summary suspension, the student may not enter the campus without obtaining prior permission from the Conduct Officer, regardless of the severity of the offense, and will be accompanied by a security officer.

E.  Formal Hearing:

  1. The Administrator is responsible for convening the Student Conduct Board (SCB). The SCB shall include six members who have been trained in conduct proceedings; three students (appointed by the Student Senate, one faculty member (appointed by the AASC), one staff member and one administrator (designated by the College Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs). The Administrator shall be present and serves as a non-voting chairperson to advise the hearing process.
  2. Students or organizations referred for a formal hearing shall be given five days of notice in writing of the time, place, and date of the hearing. A student’s or organization’s failure to appear at the hearing shall not prevent the hearing from proceeding as scheduled.
  3. Within a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the student must be informed in writing of a) the complaint, b) the evidence to be presented against him/her, c) a list of witnesses, and d) the nature of their testimony.
  4. In hearings involving more than one alleged student violator or organization, the administrator may use discretion to permit the hearing concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
  5. The student shall be given the opportunity to speak in his/her own defense, to present witnesses and to question any witnesses and to have an advocate present. The advocate may provide advice to the student, but may not participate in any questioning. When there is 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 advocate.
  6. The formal hearing will be conducted as follows:
    1. The Administrator presents an opening statement of the charges and a summary of the supporting evidence.
    2. The Respondent presents an opening statement of testimony or evidence to refute the charges.
    3. The Administrator calls witnesses for the College.  At the conclusion of each witness statement, the Respondent and/or members of the panel will have the opportunity to ask questions of the witness.
    4. The Respondent will call witnesses to speak on his/her behalf.  At the conclusion of each witness statement, the Administrator and/or the panel will have the opportunity to ask questions of the witness.
    5. The Administrator provides concluding remarks.
    6. The Respondent provides concluding remarks.
    7. In a closed session, the conduct panel shall review the evidence and witness testimony.  Using the preponderance of evidence standard, the SRRC shall determine by majority vote whether it is more likely than not a violation of the student conduct code occurred.  If the panel determines that a violation did occur, the Administrator will impose the appropriate sanctioning.
  7. A written notice of findings and conclusions by the panel shall be provided to the student within a reasonable time not to exceed 15 instructional days after the hearing. The notice shall inform the student of any sanction to be imposed. The notice shall also contain information regarding any applicable appeal process.
  8. The hearing may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being and/or fears of direct contact with the complainant, alleged student violator and/or other witness, If necessary, SCC will provide for the presence of law enforcement and/or security, separate facilities, use of a visual screen, and/or by participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgement of the administrator to be appropriate. 

F.  Sanctions:
The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student or organization found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct.  Written notice of sanctions will be in an archive accessible by the administrator

  • Warning - A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations and placed in an archive accessible by an administrator.
  • Probation - A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period. The college may impose specific written conditions for the probation.
  • Discretionary Sanctions - Work assignments, essays, service to the college or other related discretionary assignments.
  • Referral – use of special support services, including but not limited to services providing by the college, social service agencies or law enforcement agencies.
  • Loss of Privileges - Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time including limiting access to facilities, programs, services, activities or members of the College community.
  • Course Withdrawal – immediate institutional withdrawal from one or more courses.  Students are not entitled to refunds when institutionally withdrawn from a course.
  • Restitution - Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  • Suspension - 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.  Notice of action may appear on the student’s academic transcript.
  • Expulsion - Permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment at the college.  Notice of action may appear on the student’s academic transcript.
  • 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 of the process set forth in this Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.
  • Deactivation – Loss of all college privileges for student groups or organizations, including college recognition and funding for a specified period of time.

G.  Appeals

  1. A decision reached by the Student Conduct Board or a sanction imposed by the Administrator may be appealed by the alleged student violator(s) or complainant(s) to the Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs, or other designated administrator, within five (5) school or business days of the notification of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Administrator or his or her designee.
  2. Except as required to explain the basis of new information, an appeal shall be limited to a review for one or more of the following purposes:
    1. To determine whether the informal or formal hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures, giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information that the Student Code of Conduct was violated, and giving the alleged student violator a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to those allegations. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
    2. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the alleged student violator was based on substantial information--that is, whether there were facts in the case that were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Code occurred.
    3. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Code which the student was found to have committed.
    4. To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original informal or formal hearing.
  3. If an appeal is not upheld by the Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs, the Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs may take any appropriate action. If an appeal is upheld, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved, except in cases involving sanctions of suspension for ten (10) days or longer, in which case students shall be informed of their right to a contested case hearing under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 14.

Date of Final Approval / Policy Adoption:  September 16, 2016