FLB (Local) – Student Rights and Responsibilities: Student Conduct and Discipline Program


INTENT
It is the intent of the Student Conduct and Discipline Program to provide an educational and developmental response to student misconduct while maintaining and protecting a safe and appropriate teaching and learning environment.

In keeping with the educational intent of the Student Conduct and Discipline Program, the College engages in progressive discipline to help students understand and behave in accordance with the College’s conduct standards. The progressive discipline process includes (a) selecting a proportional response to a student’s misbehavior, and (b) increasing the level of response if the student subsequently misbehaves. In a progressive discipline environment, the discipline the College administers for the first occurrence of serious misconduct may be expulsion.

PERSONAL CONDUCT
The personal conduct of students (a) on the grounds of any site or campus, in any facility, or in any vehicle owned by or controlled by Angelina College; (b) participating in or attending college functions; or (c) as members of recognized student organizations, participants in college-sponsored groups, or members of intercollegiate athletic teams is subject to College disciplinary jurisdiction. The College may also enforce its own disciplinary policy and procedure when the personal conduct of students – – regardless of where it occurs — directly, seriously, or adversely interferes with or disrupts the overall mission, programs, or other functions of the College.

The Dean of Student Services or designee shall have primary authority and responsibility for administering the Student Conduct and Discipline Program. The President may take immediate interim disciplinary action, including suspension, pending a hearing for student violation of College policy. Such interim disciplinary action, including suspension, may occur in drug-related cases or when the continuing presence of the accused student poses a danger to person or property or is an ongoing threat of disruption to the scholastic process. When such interim disciplinary action occurs, the President shall communicate the disciplinary action in writing and, if possible, meet with the student to discuss reasons for the interim disciplinary action and to allow the student a rebuttal pending a full hearing.

Students are expected to obey all local, state, and federal laws and ordinances, in addition to all the policies and regulations of the College. Students are expected to conduct themselves and dress in a manner that preserves an appropriate atmosphere and will not disrupt teaching and learning activities. In addition, students engaging in student activities, working for the College, or representing the College at special events may be held to guidelines for conduct, dress, and appearance appropriate to that activity.

PROHIBITED BEHAVIOR

1. Academic Integrity

It is the aim of Angelina College faculty to foster a spirit of complete honesty and a high standard of integrity. The attempt of any student to present, as his or her own, any work that he or she has not honestly performed is regarded by the faculty and administration as a most serious offense and is prohibited.

Cheating: Complete honesty is required of the student in the presentation of any and all phases of course work. Dishonesty of any kind on examinations, quizzes, or assignments is considered cheating and is prohibited. Common examples of cheating include the following:

• Copying from another student’s test paper, laboratory report, other report, or computer files, data listings, and/or programs;

• Using materials during a test that are not authorized by the test administrator;

• Collaborating with another person or persons during an examination or in preparing academic work without authorization;

• Knowingly and without authorization, using, buying, selling, stealing, soliciting, copying, or possessing in whole or in part, the contents of an administered test;

• Substituting for another student, permitting any other person, or otherwise assisting any other person to substitute for oneself or for another student in the taking of an examination or the preparation of academic work to be submitted for academic credit; and

• Purchasing or otherwise acquiring or submitting as one’s work any research paper or writing assignment prepared by another individual or firm.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism means the appropriation of another’s work or idea and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work or idea in one’s own written work offered for credit. Plagiarism is prohibited.

2. Alcoholic Beverages

Student possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on College property. Violations subject to disciplinary action include the possession, consumption, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages on the college campus or while representing the College during an off-campus activity.

3. Illegal Substances

The possession, distribution, or use of any illegal substance on campus or at any College related function on or off campus is prohibited.

4. Tobacco

Angelina College is a Tobacco Free campus. The use of tobacco products is prohibited on all College property.

5. Vapor and e-cigarettes

The College prohibits use of vapor and e-cigarettes on all College property.

6. Housing and Residence Life

Violations or breaches of the Angelina College Residential Contract by students living in College housing is prohibited.

7. Animals on Campus

Pets and other privately-owned animals are prohibited in any College building unless the Vice President and Dean of Instruction makes a specific exception for academic purposes. Animals on campus must be on a leash or be otherwise under the direct and positive control of the owner. Service animals assisting individuals with disabilities are permitted in all College facilities, programs, and events. Students with disabilities should contact the Office of the Dean of Student Services to obtain guidelines and regulations related to service animals.

8. Children in the Classroom

Students bringing children to class without prior consent from the instructor is prohibited.

9. Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination and Harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy or state, local, or federal law are prohibited. Further information regarding discrimination and procedures for students who believe they have been subjected to discrimination can be found in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of the Angelina College Policy and Procedures Manual.

Title IX: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. ァ1681 et seq., protects individuals from discrimination and harassment based on sex in any educational program or activity operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment, including sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination and is therefore prohibited under Title IX. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or educational performance, or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.

Angelina College is committed to providing an environment of academic study and employment free from harassment or discrimination to all segments of its community; its faculty, staff, students, guests and vendors; and will promptly address all complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, and related retaliation in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.

To report a violation of Title IX or ask questions regarding Title IX, contact Steve Hudman, Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator. His office address is 101 in the Student Center, his telephone number is 936-633- 5293, and his email address is shudman@angelina.edu. Students may also contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (800-421-3481) to complain of sex discrimination or sexual harassment including sexual violence.

STUDENT GRIEVANCE POLICY
Title IX Grievance Procedure: The College is committed to prompt and equitable resolution of student complaints of sexual discrimination, including sexual violence, by fellow students through the Discipline Program Procedure. The Title IX Coordinator will monitor the administration of the Discipline Program Procedure to ensure prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint. Other complaints of sexual discrimination (i.e., complaints against College employees) will be investigated and resolved by trained administrators with oversight by the Title IX Coordinator. In addition to the resolution procedures, when a student alleges sexual harassment or assault, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly meet with the student to explain:

• the investigation process, including the importance of treating both parties equitably, and that the complainant and alleged perpetrator will receive written notice of the outcome of the complaint;

• assurance that the College will take steps to prevent recurrence of any sexual violence and remedy discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate;

• the College’s resolution procedures, making clear that students are not required to work out issues directly with each other and that mediation is not used in sexual assault cases;

• counseling services available either on or off campus;

• possible academic accommodations; and

• that the College prohibits and will protect complainants from retaliation.

In sexual assault cases, the Title IX Coordinator will urge the student to seek medical attention. The Coordinator will also advise the student of the right to file a criminal complaint as well as to use the College’s Student Conduct and Discipline Program. In addition, the Coordinator will explain any legal requirement or school policy to notify police of the alleged assault.

The College has a duty to investigate even if the complainant asks that it not do so. If the complainant requests anonymity, the Title IX Coordinator will remind the complainant that he or she will be protected from retaliation, and explain that anonymity may limit the College’s ability to respond. Furthermore, the Coordinator will assure the complainant that the investigation will be discreet and only disclosed on a “need to know” basis. In deciding how to proceed, the Title IX Coordinator will weigh the complainant’s anonymity request against the alleged perpetrator’s potential danger to other students. In addition, the Coordinator will determine whether interim protective actions are necessary, such as issuing a “no contact” directive. The Coordinator will follow the initial meeting with a letter to the student reviewing the options and resources and requesting a signed acknowledgment of receipt as well as a written statement indicating the course of action the student wishes to pursue.

10. Disruptions

The use of force, violence, tactics, or behavior that causes obstruction or disruption of teaching, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other college authorized activities on college premises is prohibited. This includes use of language or behavior that disrupts the College learning environment.

11. Distribution of Literature, Advertising, Selling or Solicitation

Selling and soliciting are only permitted on the College’s campus and sites with official authorization. Solicitation of students, faculty, or staff members by personal contact or through the distribution of advertising leaflets or handbills to promote sales without prior approval of Dean of Student Services is prohibited on any College property or in any buildings.

12. False Reports

False reporting of incidents including intentional activation of fire alarms or fire suppression systems on campus when a threat is not imminent is prohibited.

13. Falsification of Records

Knowingly furnishing false information to the College by forging or altering a document, record, or identification is prohibited.

14. Financial Responsibilities

Failure to promptly address all financial responsibilities owed Angelina College is prohibited. This includes any student unpaid debts, returned checks, overdue borrowed books, and other cases of financial irresponsibility.

15. Firearms, Fireworks, and Explosives

The unauthorized possession or use of firearms, fireworks, explosives, or unauthorized hazardous chemicals of any description on College grounds or property, including residence halls, is prohibited.

16. Food and Drinks

Possession and consumption of food and drinks is prohibited in the computer labs, classrooms, laboratories, shops, theatre, library, and other designated areas on campus without prior college approval.

17. Gambling

Gambling in any form is prohibited on College grounds and property, including College residence halls.

18. Lewd, Indecent or Obscene Conduct

Lewd, vulgar, indecent, or obscene conduct/expression infringing upon the rights of others and/or disrupting the campus learning environment is prohibited. This includes all Angelina College activities conducted on and off campus property.

19. Misuse of Student Identification Card

The use of a student identification card by anyone other than the person to whom it is issued, and the failure to present or relinquish a student identification card to a member of the faculty, staff, or administration upon request is prohibited.

20. Official Directives

Failure to comply with the lawful directives of all College officials acting within the scope of their responsibilities is prohibited.

21. Stalking

Attempting to control or intimidate another student through behavior or threats is prohibited. A stalker can be anyone, including an unknown person, an acquaintance, or a former intimate partner. A stalker may follow a victim off and on for a period of days, weeks, or even years. A stalking victim feels reasonable fear of bodily injury or death to self or to a family or household member or damage to property. Stalking can be perpetrated by the stalker or by someone acting on her/his behalf. Stalking can take the form of verbal threats or threats conveyed by the stalker’s conduct, threatening mail, property damage, surveillance of the victim, or by following the victim.

22. Student Dress

Classroom instructors and College staff in charge of College events have the right to refuse entrance to students dressed in inappropriate attire.

23. Terroristic and Bomb Threats

Terroristic behavior such as sending threatening letters or electronic mail, communicating threats through telephone calls or text messages, and bomb threats are prohibited.

24. Unauthorized Entry

The unauthorized entry or use of College buildings, offices, or facilities is prohibited.

25. Unauthorized Possession of Keys

The possession by students of keys to College buildings or facilities that have not been issued by an authorized College official is prohibited.

26. Vandalism

The willful malicious destruction, damage, or defacing of property whether it belongs to the College or another student constitutes an act of vandalism and is prohibited.

27. Violent Behavior

The use or threat of physical violence against another person on College property or at College-sponsored events is prohibited.

28. Violation of Local, State or Federal Law

Any action, event, or group of events that provides grounds for a charge or violation of local, state, or federal laws is prohibited.

SPECIAL PROCESS PROVISIONS
Attempted Violations

In most circumstances, the College will treat attempt to commit any violations of Student Conduct as if that attempt had been completed.

College as Complainant

As necessary, Angelina College reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the victim of misconduct.

Immunity for Victims and Witnesses

At the sole discretion of the Dean of Student Services, the College may choose to not issue charges nor to administer punishment for violations of the Student Code to victims and witnesses of serious criminal activity, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

Bystander Engagement

At the sole discretion of the Dean of Student Services, the College may choose to not issue charges nor to administer punishment for violations of the Student Code when students report a dangerous situation to a College official or seek emergency assistance for themselves or other students.

Parental Notification

The College reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any health or safety risk, change in student status or conduct situation, related to alcohol and/or drug violations. The College may also notify parents/guardians of not-dependent students under age 21 of alcohol and/or drug policy violations. Where a student is not dependent, the College will contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk. The College also reserves the right to designate which college officials have a need to know about individual conduct complaints pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Notification of Outcomes The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the educational record of the accused student, and is protected from release pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

However, the College observes the legal exceptions as follows:

• Complainants in non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, stalking, and relationship violence incidents have an absolute right to be informed of the outcome, essential findings, and sanctions of the hearing, in writing, without condition or limitation.

• The College may release publicly the name, nature of the violation and the sanction for any student who is found in violation of a college policy that is a “crime of violence,” including: arson, burglary, robbery, criminal homicide, sex offenses, assault, destruction/ damage/ vandalism of property and kidnapping/abduction.

PENALTIES FOR MISCONDUCT
Penalties for misconduct include, but are not limited to the following:

Warning or Reprimand

Warning or Reprimand may include, but is not limited to, counseling with or writing a letter to the student. These actions are cumulative and are considered official college actions that are recorded in the Office of the Dean of Student Services.

Restriction

Restriction involves specifically prohibiting a student from attending campus activities, occupying campus facilities, or using campus equipment or services.

Community Service

Community service is an assignment of unpaid work on campus or in the community with a restorative intent.

Disciplinary Probation

Disciplinary probation is applied for a stated period with or without specified restrictive conditions. Restrictive conditions may include but are not limited to:

• removing the right of the student to receive any college award, scholarships, or financial aid;

• removing the right to occupy any position of leadership in any college or student organization or activity.

Disciplinary probation will become a part of the student’s permanent academic record.

Removal from College Housing

In certain instances, the college may remove a student from College housing and allow him/her to continue attending classes.

Course Grade Reduction

Faculty members may reduce a student’s course grade in response to student behaviors that violate standards set forth in the course syllabus and/or prohibited in the student code.

Administrative Course Withdrawal

Administrative course withdrawal results in a “W” grade. Angelina College reserves the right to withdraw students from a class or all classes if, in the judgment of the appropriate college official, such withdrawals are in the best interests of students and the college. Students may be withdrawn for reasons of lack of attendance, irresponsible financial conduct, personal misconduct, academic integrity violations, unlawful compliance of a college official, or other academic infractions.

Disciplinary Suspension

Suspension is for a stated period, but never less than the remainder of the semester in which the offense is committed. During suspension, the student shall not attend classes, participate in any college related activity, or be on campus for any reason except application for readmission. Readmission on probation may be granted at the end of the suspension period. Disciplinary suspension will become a part of the student’s permanent academic record.

Expulsion

Expulsion is the permanent removal from Angelina College with no opportunity for readmission. Expulsion will become a part of the student’s permanent academic record. The Office of the Dean of Student Services shall administer the Angelina College Student Conduct and Discipline Program.

PROCEDURES FOR DISCIPLINE PROGRAM
Rules of Evidence and Burden of Proof

Disciplinary decisions will be based on the preponderance of evidence. Meaning, it is more likely than not an alleged incident occurred. A totality of all available and relevant evidence will be used to establish this preponderance. The burden and responsibility for gathering and evaluating evidence rests with the College. Accused students may elect to not self-incriminate and should be active in presenting relevant evidence to support their position. Witness statements that are unsigned and/or undated will not be considered in discipline process; however, if an investigation stemming from an unsigned and/or undated statement results in the discovery of evidence that misconduct may have occurred, the student responsible for that misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action.

Steps in the Student Conduct Process

1. Dean of Student Services or designee (hereinafter “College Official”) will investigate alleged student misconduct.

2. If the College Official finds sufficient evidence of misconduct, the College Official will issue a letter to the student to schedule a hearing. The letter will include a description of the charge(s) and evidence.

3. College Official will conduct a hearing during which he/she explains the student’s right to due process, reviews the Student Conduct Process including appeal procedures, lists the charge(s), and presents all evidence collected during his/her investigation. The student may present evidence, call witnesses, and/or address witness statements and evidence presented. Complainants and victims may present witnesses and other evidence during the hearing. The outcomes of the hearing will be one of the following:

a. The student admits misconduct in writing. The College Official will assign appropriate discipline in writing to the student. The student may appeal the assigned discipline to the Student Conduct Panel in writing to the Dean of Student Services within five (5) business days of receiving documentation from the College Official.

b. The College Official finds the student presents a preponderance of evidence that he/she is not responsible for the alleged misconduct. The College Official will dismiss the charge(s)against the student in writing.

c. After considering all evidence provided by the student, the College Official finds the preponderance of evidence supports the charge(s). The College Official will assign appropriate discipline in writing to the student. The student may appeal the finding of the College Official and/or the assigned discipline to the Student Conduct Panel in writing to the Dean of Student Services within five (5) business days of receiving documentation from the College Official.

4. When a student appeal is received, the Student Conduct Panel will conduct a hearing. During the hearing, the College Official will present the charge(s) and all evidence collected during his/her investigation. Complainants and victims will also be afforded the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence during the hearing. The accused student may present evidence, call witnesses, and/or address witness statements and evidence presented. The outcomes of the hearing may be one of the following:

a. The Student Conduct Panel finds the preponderance of evidence supports the charge(s) and assigns appropriate discipline in writing.

b. The Student Conduct Panel finds the preponderance of evidences does not support the charge(s) and dismisses the charge(s) in writing.

5. A student or complainant may appeal the Student Conduct Panel’s findings or discipline assignment in writing to the Angelina College President within five (5) business days of receiving documentation from the Student Conduct Panel. The only grounds for appeal are as follows:

a. A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing(s) (e.g. substantiated bias, failure to document findings, material deviation from established procedures, etc.);

b. New evidence unavailable during the original hearing or investigation that could substantially impact the original finding or discipline assignment is found. A summary of this new evidence must be included in the written appeal;

c. The discipline assigned is materially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.

6. The President will review the charge(s), the written findings of the Case Official and the Discipline Panel, and the written appeal from the student to decide the merits of the student’s appeal. At his/her sole discretion, the President may meet with the student during his/her deliberation of the appeal. Pursuant to authority delegated to the President by the Angelina College Board of Trustees, the decision of the President is final.

Student Conduct Panel

Each year, the Dean of Student Services shall request the Angelina College Committee on Committees assign not less than three (3) faculty members and three (3) professional staff members to the Student Conduct Panel to serve one year terms. A faculty or professional staff member may serve additional one year terms at his/her request if the Dean of Student Services approves. The Dean of Student Services will recruit and appoint not less than three (3) currently enrolled students to serve on the Student Conduct Panel during each semester. The Dean of Student Services or designee shall conduct thorough, appropriate training with the Student Conduct Panel each semester. If a panelist cannot complete his/her term for any reason, the Dean of Student Services shall appoint and train a panelist from the exiting panelist’s group (i.e., faculty, professional staff, student) who will serve the remainder of the exiting panelist’s term. The Student Conduct Panel shall elect a Chief Panelist each semester by majority vote.

When the Student Conduct Panel receives a student appeal, the Chief Panelist will assign three current panelists, including at least one (1) student but not more than two (2) students, to conduct the hearing and render findings. At the hearing, the findings of the investigation will be admitted, but are not binding on panelists. The goal of the hearing is to provide an appropriate resolution via an equitable process.

APPEALS

All sanctions imposed by the College Official or Student Conduct Panel will be in effect during any appeal. In cases where the appeal results in reinstatement to the institution or of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the student to his/her prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irretrievable in the short term.

REVISED: 7/16