Code of Conduct and Commitment to Civility | MVCC | Mohawk Valley Community College
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Code of Conduct and Commitment to Civility

Code of Conduct and Commitment to Civility

   MVCC believes in the core values and ethics that are so vital to all local, regional and global communities.  Being a member of the Mohawk Valley Community College community requires a commitment to these values including, but not limited to civility, personal accountability, professional and academic ethics, personal integrity, dignity for self and others, fairness, honesty and respect for self and others. Based on the Student Code of Conduct and Commitment to Civility, the rules and regulations below govern the relationship between students and the College.

   Students, faculty and staff of the MVCC College community shall be familiar with the Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct governs the conduct of students in or on College facilities or online platforms and students’ conduct at any College off campus activity, event, trip or study abroad program.   This Student Code of Conduct shall also apply to students’ conduct on and off the College campuses that adversely affects the College community or poses a safety concern to the College community.

MVCC defines “Student” as:

   Student is defined as persons currently registered for College credit/equivalent courses at Mohawk Valley Community College, either full or part-time.  Students are subject to all of the rules, regulations and procedures of the College including but not limited to the Student Code of Conduct. The status of student becomes null and void upon withdrawal from the institution or any administrative revocation of this standing.

College Rights

  • To establish criteria and standards for accepting, advising, counseling, teaching, evaluating, graduating, and as necessary, disciplining students.
  • To establish and enforce standards of acceptable behavior for anyone associated with the College.
  • To bring legal or judicial action against any student violating College regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • To provide guidance and direction about student rights.
  • To take action to continue its work as an academic institution.

Student Rights

  • To access services offered by the College.
  • To participate on College committees where Student Congress representation is required.
  • To due process in situations involving judicial action.
  • To access an appeal process.
  • To have reasonable privacy except in situations involving personal safety or wellbeing.
  • To benefit from the educational process, free from harassment or disruption.

Regulations

Section 1: General College Regulations

   Forms of misconduct that may initiate judicial procedures include, but are not limited to:

CR 1: Any crime or threat of crime because of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability, religion or religious practice or sexual orientation.

CR 2: Dishonesty including, but not limited to, fraud, forgery, furnishing false information, stealing. (Cheating and plagiarism are addressed under the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure)

CR 3: Obstruction, disruption or prevention of orderly classes, meetings, and other College activities.

CR 4: Damage to or unauthorized use of private or College property.

CR 5: Unauthorized presence.

CR 6: Intimidation, discrimination, harassment, inflicting emotional distress, physical harm, or threat to anyone.

CR 7: Abusive, obscene, indecent, or lewd conduct.

CR 8: Use, possession, distribution, or sale of controlled or illegal substances at the College.  Possession of paraphernalia commonly used with illegal substances.

CR 9: Use, possession, distribution, or sale of alcoholic beverages except when authorized by appropriate College administrators.

CR 10: Use, storage, fabrication or possession of firearms, explosives, flammables, and noxious chemicals or other items that could be considered or simulate a weapon except where authorized by the College.

CR 11: Failure to comply with reasonable instructions from authorized College personnel.

CR 12: Claiming to speak or act in the name of the College without authorization.

CR 13: Any action which threatens the mental, psychological, or physical health of another person at the College including those actions for the sole purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization (hazing).

CR 14: Recording, broadcasting, streaming, or otherwise sharing of private information without authorization of all involved party.

CR 15: Non-permissive recording of another person (“Stephanie’s Law”).

CR 16: Use of social media or other technology to defame, trespass, assault, or inflict emotional distress upon another person or that is otherwise illegal (cyber-harassment, sexting).

CR 17: Violations of other College regulations and policies, including, but not limited to the Tobacco-Free Campus regulations

CR 18: Failure to provide student identification upon request.

CR 19: Students’ conduct on or off College campus that adversely affects the College community.

CR 20: Students’ conduct on or off College campus that poses a safety concern to the College community.

CR 21: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Violence, Dating/Domestic Violence or Stalking (please see the College’s Title IX Policy and Procedure)

   Notification: Students found responsible for violations equivalent to crimes of violence, as defined in the Clery Act (as updated by the Violence Against Women Act Final Regulations) Part I crimes, as set forth in 34 C.F.R. §668.46(c),  require a transcript notation under §6444(6). Those are: murder; manslaughter; rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape; robbery; aggravated assault; burglary; motor vehicle theft; and arson.  

Judicial Procedures

   All communication to students from any office associated with the College’s Department of Civic Responsibilities will be done by way of the student’s email. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his/her email for these communications.

   The following procedures have been established to provide students with due process when it is alleged that they have violated College/Residence Hall policy and/or rules and regulations.

  1. The College will designate an appropriate campus official to serve as Conduct Officer and may appoint supplemental Conduct Officers as necessary to assist in the judicial process.
  2. The title Conduct Officer shall include the Director of Civic Responsibilities and Chief Conduct Officer, the Associate  Dean for Student and Residence Life, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Residence Hall Professional Staff, Coordinator of Judicial Affairs, Academic Associate Dean, Vice President for Learning and Academic Affairs, the Dean of Rome Campus, Director of Campus Services, or a designee.

   If a Conduct Officer feels there exists clear danger to the safety and well being of individuals attending or working at the College, or if the alleged violation was severe in nature, immediate suspension from the College or any specific area may be imposed. The following process will continue ONLY if the suspended student submits a request for an investigation to begin. This request must be in writing and be submitted within five (5) days of the suspension. Without this request, the student will automatically be expelled from the College and will forfeit all rights to appeal.

   The College or Dormitory Corporation reserves the right to not pursue a violation.  In cases where the number of individuals involved in a specific incident exceeds what could reasonably be addressed within the below timeline, the procedures may be modified.

Disciplinary Standard

   The standard for decision-making is based on the preponderance of evidence; whether it is more likely than not, based on the available information, that the accused student committed the alleged violation(s). The assigned Conduct Officer will reach a finding of  “responsible” or “not responsible” for the alleged violation(s).

Procedures and Timelines

  • The Conduct Officer shall receive written complaint within 5 days of alleged incident.
  • The Conduct Officer conducts an investigation, by interviewing involved parties and witnesses and shall maintain a written record of what transpires.
  • If the student admits to the violation(s), the Conduct Officer may immediately impose an appropriate sanction.
  • If the student maintains innocence, the Conduct Officer will determine whether a violation occurred based on the results of his/her investigation. The Conduct Officer shall notify the alleged violator in writing within 15 days of the initial incident the determination and appropriate sanctions, if any. The College reserves the right to rescind or impose additional sanctions if further information comes to the attention of College officials once a sanction has been imposed.
  • The above timelines may be adjusted depending on the nature of the allegation and the investigation(s) needed.
  • A student maintains the right to request an appeal.

   Note: Filing a false report or intentionally misleading an investigation may result in Residence Hall and College sanctions up to dismissal.

   Security Camera Vandalism Investigation: At any time a security camera review identifies a person(s) responsible for vandalism or damage, a Conduct Officer reserves the right to complete no further investigation and may expeditiously sanction the responsible person(s). The student will be subject to the standard appeal process.

   Sanctions: The College views education to be its primary focus. However, when a violation of College policy, rules or regulations occurs, consequences for such actions must be enforced. The College will attempt mediation when appropriate.

  Warning/Reprimand: Verbal or Written notice that a further violations may be cause for further disciplinary action.

   Referral for Assistance: Recommendation that assistance be sought out from various campus services and/or outside agencies to specifically address the situation.

Probation:

   Drug/Alcohol Probation: May be used for a drug/alcohol violation. Formal notification that further violations may result in additional sanctions. Past probation will be considered in the event of similar future violations.

   Safety Probation: May be used when a safety violation has occurred. Formal notification that further violations may result in additional sanctions. Past probation will be considered in the event of similar future violations

   Comprehensive Probation: May be used for violations that are neither Alcohol/Drug or Safety related. Formal notification that further violations may result in additional sanctions. Past probation will be considered in the event of similar future violations.

Educational Sanctions

   Educational sanctions may include but not be limited to the following:

  • a formal apology in writing and/or in person;
  • a public presentation;
  • a behavioral contract between the student and the College specifying the behavioral requirements to be followed while the student is enrolled at the College;
  • a reflective essay on a designated topic;
  • a referral to the Counseling Department in order for the student to gain insight into his/her behavior;
  • alcohol and or drug education;
  • participation in college-sponsored events, activities or programs;
  • participation on community-sponsored events, activities or programs

Community Service

   Community Service may include performance of no more than 25 hours of unpaid work assignments per semester either on or off campus as specified, assigned and monitored for completion by the Conduct Officer. Assignments may not be combined or in conjunction with any other volunteer or court ordered treatment.

   Restitution: Reimbursement to the College or another party for the value of damaged or destroyed property. Restitution may not always be in monetary terms, but could include mandatory service.

   Restrictive Measures: A ban from specific facilities, services or activities for a designated period of time or contact with another person for a designated time.

   Expulsion from a Course: Removal from a specific course. Depending upon the infraction, the student may be permanently barred from re-enrollment in the course or may be allowed to re-enroll after a specified period of time. Students will receive a final grade for the course as determined by the faculty member’s grading scale listed on the course syllabus. Any work not completed at the time of expulsion will be factored in as zeros. Grades of incomplete or ongoing (ON) are not options if expelled from a course.

   Expulsion from a Program: Removal from a program. Students may be removed from a program for code of conduct infractions. Depending upon the program and the infraction, the student may be permanently barred from re-enrollment in the program or may be allowed to re-enroll after a specified period of time. The student may be eligible to enroll in an alternative program and should seek guidance from a College Advisor.

   Revocation of Admission or Credential:  The College reserves the right to revoke admission or rescind an academic credential  based upon falsification of information received by the College.

   Residence Hall Dismissal: The dismissed student must leave the Residence Halls by the deadline issued. Room and Board fees will be adjusted according to the Room and Fee Liability Policy. Continuing your meal plan is usually optional. However, you must inform staff at check-out if you wish to continue your meal plan. The dismissed student is also banned from the Residence Halls/quad area for the specified period of time and will be subject to arrest for trespassing in that area.

   Work Assignment: Supervised work assignment.  Failure to complete a work assignment cooperatively and successfully will result in judicial action.

   Fine: A Conduct Officer will determine amounts. No Residence Hall student will be allowed to make fine payments from his/her security/damage deposit.

   Disciplinary Suspension: Removal from the College for a specific period of time with final grades determined by the faculty members’ grading scale listed on each course syllabi. Any work not completed at the time of the suspension will be factored in as zeros. Grades of incomplete or ongoing are not options if suspended from the College. The student will not be allowed on College property or be eligible to participate in College-sponsored activities. All access to the College, including email and student identification will be rescinded.

   Disciplinary Expulsion: Permanent removal from the College with final grades determined by the faculty members’ grading scale listed on each course syllabi. Any work not completed at the time of the expulsion will be factored in as zeros. Grades of incomplete or ongoing (ON) are not options if expelled from the College. The student will not be allowed on College property or be eligible to participate in College-sponsored activities.

   Termination of Employment: Removal from any employment within the College (paid or volunteer) for a specific period of time.

   Legal Action: The College reserves the right to file civil actions or legal action for behavior and acts that violate the law as well as College policy, rules and/or regulations. In cases involving student organizations, permission to operate on campus or use College property may be revoked.

Crime Statistics Availability Statement (Clery Report)

   The Department of Public Safety will provide a copy of the Mohawk Valley Community College campus crime statistics as reported annually to the U.S. Department of Education upon request. Information can also be obtained from the U.S. Department of Education website at: http://ope.ed.gov/security/ or on the College’s website at www.mvcc.edu.

   NOTE: Sanctions that include suspension, expulsion, or Residence Hall dismissal are subject to College refund policies in accordance with Federal and New York State regulations.

Disciplinary Appeals

   A Disciplinary Appeal is the final step in a student’s right to due process. If requested by a student, an appeal hearing will provide for a fair, timely and impartial review of the determination and sanction(s) imposed by a Conduct Officer, considering the best interest for the institution and the student. In cases where the appeal is for a sanction of dismissal or expulsion, or an otherwise sensitive issue, an Administrative Hearing will be held with the Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee. Note: The student email will be the official form of communication during the appeal scheduling process.

   To initiate an appeal, the MVCC Appeal Request Form must be completed.

   The MVCC Appeal Request form can be found on the Civic Responsibilities Web page on the MVCC website.  Please print and submit your appeal request within the time line indicated. See website www.mvcc.edu/student-policies/civic-responsibilities.

   Appeals must be submitted to the Conduct Officer  within five (5) business days after the date of the written decision described in the paragraph above. The same timeline is followed for both an Appeals Board and an Administrative Hearing. Timelines may be adjusted upon mutual consent or when, after a good faith effort, it was not possible to convene the Appeal Board according to the timeline.

   The student may appeal the written disciplinary meeting decision for the following reasons only:

  1. A procedural error that unfairly and materially affected the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.
  2. “After acquired” information that is relevant to the alleged violation
    [information that was discovered only after the conclusion of the disciplinary meeting, could not reasonably have been discovered prior to or during the hearing, and which, if previously known, would have had a significant bearing on the outcome of the disciplinary hearing]
  3. Clear abuse of discretion on the part of the Conduct Officer
  4. A sanction that is unreasonably severe in light of the offense(s) committed.

Disciplinary Appeal Timeline

APPEALS MUST BE SUBMITTED WITHIN 5 DAYS OF RECEIVING SANCTION

Days from Conduct Officer's receipt of appeal

Step
2Conduct Officer notifies Vice President for Student Affairs or Appeals Board Chairperson
4Vice President or designee renders decision on appeal request
6Appeal is scheduled
8Date. time, and location of appeal is communicated in writing to the appealing student. Hearing format provided to student.
12Appeal hearing held

 

Process Guidelines

  1. Through the appeal process, the sanction of the Conduct Officer may be decreased, increased or upheld.
  2. The decision of the appeal hearing is final.
  3. The appealing student has the right to bring witnesses to the hearing. If they did not already do so during the incident investigation, they must submit a written statement to the Conduct Officer within 24 hours prior to the hearing. Character witnesses are not allowed.
  4. An Appeals Board hearing is restricted to the chairperson, two student board members, two faculty/staff members, the Conduct Officer, approved witnesses, the appealing student and their advisor(s).
  5. An Administrative Hearing is restricted to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Conduct Officer, approved witnesses, and the appealing student and his/her advisor(s).
  6. The appealing student may request any individual Board member be removed from the appeal hearing, providing acceptable reasons for the request are stated at the start of the appeal. The request may or may not be granted.
  7. The student may bring up to two (2) advisors to an appeal hearing (the advisors must be identified 24 hours prior to the slated hearing). Advisors must come from the College community and are free to listen to all proceedings and make suggestions directly to the student. They may not speak at the appeal except during the closing statement in place of the appealing student. The student must advise the Conduct Officer of an advisor's presence in writing 24 hours in advance of the schedule appeal hearing.

   Appeal Packet: A packet will be prepared by the Conduct Officer containing all firsthand information regarding the case, including but not limited to incident and Public Safety reports, witness statements, complaints and other relevant information regarding the student. This will serve as the basis for the appeal and all parties will work from the same packet. The College shall determine the rules of evidence. The appealing student has the right to review this packet in its entirety one hour prior to the appeal in a monitored setting.