MVCC believes in the core values and ethics that are 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. The rules and regulations and the procedures outlined below constitute the Code of Conduct.

Student Conduct Institute Badge

Students, faculty and staff of the MVCC 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. Students are expected to obey all federal, state, and local laws and all policies and procedures, rules and regulations, and directives of MVCC and/or it’s affiliated organizations.

Student is defined as persons currently registered for College credit/equivalent courses occurring through or 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. This does however, not excuse a student from any judicial proceeding regarding a violation that occurred prior to the withdrawal.

Visitors are expected to abide by the same rules that apply to students, where applicable. Action, including being banned from the College, may be taken against any and all persons who loiter and have no proper or acceptable reason for presence on campus. Visitors are not afforded the standard due process afforded to students if violations occur.

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 conduct 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.
  • To expect that members of the College community will conduct themselves in a manner that is civil, rational, reasonable, courteous, respectful, non-discriminatory and sociably in all interactions with other members of the community.

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.
    • Be informed of the alleged violations against them
    • Provide a statement regarding the alleged violations
    • Present evidence and/or witnesses
    • To an advisor (this must be someone affiliated with MVCC i.e. staff, faculty, or another student)  
  • 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.
  • To not speak to officials regarding the incident, however, failure to do so may have a negative impact as your perspective will not be taken into account in the rendering of an outcome. A hearing or meeting will not be postponed in the event of any unauthorized absence.
  • To make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police.

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 attempt to commit a crime towards any individual

         CR la. Any crime or attempt to commit a crime towards any individual based on race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability, religion or religious practice or sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, marital status, military status, criminal conviction, disability, income-level, and limited English proficiency (LEP)

CR 2: Fraud

CR 3: Forgery

CR 4: Knowingly furnishing false information

CR 5: Theft or theft of services

(Cheating and plagiarism are addressed under the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure)

CR 6: Obstruction, disruption or prevention of orderly classes, meetings, and other College activities  

CR 7: Damage or vandalism to or unauthorized use of private or College property

CR 8: Unauthorized presence

CR 9: Intimidation, discrimination, harassment, or inflicting emotional distress towards any individual or the imminent threat of harm towards any individual.

            CR 9a : Intimidation, discrimination, harassment, or inflicting emotional distress towards any individual or the imminent threat of harm towards any individual based on race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability, religion or religious practice or sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, marital status, military status, criminal conviction, disability, income-level, and limited English proficiency (LEP).

CR 10: Physical harm towards any individual or the imminent threat of physical harm towards any individual. This includes physical altercations.

      CR 10a : Physical harm towards any individual or the imminent threat of physical harm towards any individual based on race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability, religion or religious practice or sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, marital status, military status, criminal conviction, disability, income-level, and limited English proficiency (LEP)

CR 11: Obscene, indecent, or lewd conduct

CR 12: Use or possession of controlled or illegal substances at the College. (This includes the use or possession of cannabis)

Note: New York colleges and universities remain bound by their federal requirements under the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug Free Workplace Act.

CR 13: Distribution or sale of controlled or illegal substances at the College. (This includes the sale of cannabis)

CR 14: Possession of paraphernalia commonly used with illegal substances. (This includes possession of paraphernalia commonly used with the use of cannabis)

CR 15: Use or possession of alcoholic beverages except when authorized by appropriate College administrators

CR 16: Distribution of alcoholic beverages except when authorized by appropriate College administrators

CR 17: Use, storage, fabrication or possession of firearms, explosives, fireworks, flammables, and noxious chemicals or other items that could be considered or simulate a weapon except where authorized by the College

CR 18: Failure to comply with reasonable instructions from authorized College personnel or notice (COVID-19: non-compliance with safeguards or controls implemented in response to COVID-19 and communicated through the MVCC website or other written notice will be considered a violation of CR 18)

CR 19: Claiming to speak or act in the name of the College without authorization

CR 20: 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 21: Recording, broadcasting, streaming, or otherwise sharing of private information without authorization of all involved parties

CR 22: Non-permissive recording of another person

CR 23: 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 24: Violations of other College regulations and policies, including, but not limited to the Tobacco-Free Campus regulations, and the Tobacco Free and Gambling Policies (employee/student)

CR 25: Failure to provide student identification upon request from a College official

CR 26: Students’ conduct on or off College campus that adversely affects the College community

CR 27: Students’ conduct on or off College campus that poses a safety concern to the College community

Note: 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 Judicial Affairs and Community Standards will be done by way of the student’s email. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor their email for these communications.

The following procedures have been established to provide students with due process when it is alleged that they have violated the Code of Conduct or Residence Hall 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 Coordinator of Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, the Dean of Student Life, Vice President for Student Affairs, Residence Hall Professional Staff,  Academic Dean, Vice President for Learning and Academic Affairs, or designee, the Dean of Rome Campus, Director of the Rome Campus, 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. Standard judicial procedures will occur regarding this alleged incident. It is expected that the student monitors their student email for notifications so that they are able to participate in the due process proceedings. If the student is unable to do so, judicial proceedings will continue in their absence. The student is permitted to remain in contact with their faculty via email or telephone in order to remain current with their assignments during the investigation, unless instructed otherwise. 

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).

Due Process: Procedures and Timelines

(This is a judicial investigation, not affiliated with the legal system)

  • The Conduct Officer shall receive written complaint within 5 days of any person becoming aware of an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct
  • The Conduct Officer conducts an investigation, by interviewing appropriate 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 by using the disciplinary standard. The Conduct Officer shall notify the alleged violator in writing within 15 days of the initial violation of 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.

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 any 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: 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;
  • alcohol and or drug education;
  • participation in sponsored events, activities or programs;
  • completion of an online Judicial Educator module

Community Service: Community Service may include performance of no more than 25 hours of 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 missing property. Restitution may not always be in monetary terms, but could include mandatory service.

Restrictive Measures and Revocation of Privileges: A ban from specific facilities, services or activities for a designated period of time or contact with another person for a designated time. Violation(s) of any restrictive measure or revocation of privilege will result in a ban. In addition, violation of this ban will subject you to arrest for trespassing and could result in a fine of up to $250.00 if found guilty of Section140.5 of the Penal Law of New York State. 

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 an Academic 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 Student Support 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. 

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

Disciplinary Suspension: Removal from the College for a specific period of time.  Grades will be recorded as an Administrative Withdrawal. The student will not be allowed on College property or be eligible to participate in College-sponsored events. All access to the College, including email and student identification will be rescinded.

Disciplinary Expulsion: Permanent removal from the College, Grades will be recorded as an Administrative Withdrawal. The student will not be allowed on College property or be eligible to participate in College-sponsored events. All access to the College, including email and student identification, will be rescinded. 

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

Note: Any sanctions not completed within the timeline indicated in the student outcome letter will result in a Vice President hold being placed on the student’s account.

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.

NOTE: 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. 

NOTE: 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.

Disciplinary Appeals Process

The Disciplinary Appeal process is the final step in a student’s right to due process. If requested by a student who received a written sanction as a result of being found “responsible” for a violation of a Code of Conduct or Residence Hall Regulation, the disciplinary appeal process will provide for a fair, timely and impartial review of the disciplinary standard finding of “responsible” and the sanction(s) imposed by a Conduct Officer, in accordance with the appeal criteria.  The decision of the appeal process is final. The disciplinary appeal is a two-step process:

Step 1: Request for Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Review:

A Disciplinary Appeals “Requests for Hearing” is reviewed by the Disciplinary Appeals Committee.  The Disciplinary Appeals Committee will determine, by majority vote of the committee members present, whether or not a disciplinary appeal hearing will be granted based on the established criteria. 

If the Disciplinary Appeals Committee, by majority of committee members present, do not grant a Disciplinary Appeal Hearing at this Step 1, the appeal process ends and determination of “responsible” and associated sanctions(s) stand.  The appeal process is over. 

If the Disciplinary Appeals Committee grants a Disciplinary Appeal Hearing, the appeal process will advance to Step 2.

Step 2: Disciplinary Appeal Hearing:

If the disciplinary appeal hearing request was granted in Step 1, a disciplinary appeal hearing will be held by the Disciplinary Appeals Committee.   In cases where the appeal is for a sanction of suspension or expulsion, or an otherwise sensitive issue, the Disciplinary Appeal Hearing will be held with the Vice President for Student Affairs, or designee providing that the initial appeal request was approved by the Disciplinary Appeals Committee.  The College, in its sole and absolute discretion, will determine if the hearing meets the College’s standard of “sensitive.”

How To Begin Appeal Process:

To initiate the Disciplinary Appeal Process, the Disciplinary Appeal Request Form must be completed.

A request for a Disciplinary Appeal Hearing  must be submitted to the Conduct Officer via the electronic form located on the College website at www.mvcc.edu/judicial-affairs-community-standards within five (5) business days from written notification of being found “responsible” for and sanctioned for a violation of the Code of Conduct or a Residence Hall regulation.

Appeal Criteria:

In accordance with Step 1 of the appeal process, any request for a disciplinary appeal hearing must clearly demonstrate one or more of the appeal criteria below.  In the event the disciplinary appeal request does not demonstrate one or more criteria below, the request will be denied and the appeal process is concluded.

  1. A procedural irregularity existed that affected the outcome of the matter;
  2. New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter, has been discovered;
  3. The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against an individual party, or for or against complainants or respondents in general, that affected the outcome of the matter.

Note: It is highly recommended that a student accesses the instructional video available via a link within the appeal form and/or assistance from a faculty or staff member regarding how to request the Disciplinary Appeal prior to submitting the electronic request.  It is also recommended that the student use the services of the Learning Commons Writing Lab in preparation of a request for a Disciplinary Appeal Hearing.

Appeal Process Guidelines:

Advisor: The appealing student may bring up to two (2) advisors to a Disciplinary Appeal Hearing. The name(s) of the advisor(s) must be communicated in writing to the Conduct Officer no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. Advisors must be either a student, a staff member or a faculty member from the MVCC College Community.  To assist a student who may not be able to identify an advisor, a directory of advisors will be provided to the student for the student to contact. The Advisor is free to listen to all proceedings and make suggestions directly to the student. The advisor may not directly address the Disciplinary Hearing Committee at the appeal except during the closing statement in place of the appealing student

Attendance: In the event the appealing student is absent from the Disciplinary Committee Hearing, the hearing will proceed without the student 15 minutes after the scheduled start time.  The transcript will reflect the absence. 

Attorneys: The appeal hearing is an internal college process and therefore, neither the College, the Disciplinary Appeals Committee, appealing student or anyone else will be allowed to have attorney representation during the appeal process.  A Disciplinary Appeal Hearing is not a court.

Conflict of Interest: The appealing student may request any individual Committee member be removed from the appeal process providing acceptable reasons for the request are stated at the start of the hearing.  The request may or may not be granted. In all cases, the Chair of the Disciplinary Appeal Committee in its sole and absolute discretion will determine if the request to remove a member meets their standard of acceptable reason.

Communication Method: The student email will be the official form of communication during the appeal process. Students are expected to monitor their student email for any communications from the College during the disciplinary appeals process.

Composition:

  • Step 1: Request for Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Review: The Composition of a Disciplinary Hearing Request Review Meeting will include the chairperson and four Disciplinary Appeals Committee members.  The Chair will ensure that at least one committee member is a student, except when student members have not been appointed/trained to the Disciplinary Appeals Committee or when an appeal hearing review is conducted outside of the regular Fall or Spring semester.  In such cases, additional faculty/staff members will be appointed to reach the composition of four members.
  • Step 2: Disciplinary Appeals Hearing Composition:
    1. A Disciplinary Appeals Committee Hearing is restricted to the chairperson, four Disciplinary Appeals Committee members, the Conduct Officer, approved witnesses, the appealing student and their advisor(s). *The four committee members may or may not differ from the members who served on the Request for Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Review.  The Chair will ensure that at least one committee member is a student, except when student members have not been appointed/trained available to the Disciplinary Appeals Committee or when an appeal hearing review is conducted outside of the regular Fall or Spring semester.  In such cases, additional faculty/staff members will be appointed to reach the composition of four members.
    2. An Appeal Hearing heard by the Vice President for Student Affairs is limited to the Vice President, or designee, the Conduct Officer, approved witnesses, and the appealing student and their advisor(s).

Hearing Format: A Disciplinary Hearing Format Description will be provided to the student during the scheduling of the hearing.

Hearing Mode: The College will determine the hearing location and mode of the hearing (e.g., in-person or virtual).

Hearing Outcome: Through the appeal process, the disciplinary standard determination may change or stay the same and the sanction of the Conduct Officer may be decreased, increased or upheld.

Hearing Packet: A packet will be prepared by the Conduct Officer containing first-hand information regarding the case, including but not limited to incident reports, the Disciplinary Appeal Request Form, statements from the incident parties and witnesses, supporting documents (e.g., screen shots, pictures, pertinent emails, etc.) and appointment and outcome letters. This will serve as the basis for the Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Request Review and the Disciplinary Appeal Hearing and all parties will work from the same packet. The College shall determine the rules of evidence contained in the file.  In order to prepare for the appeal hearing, the appealing student has the right to review this packet in its entirety.  This review will occur in a monitored setting, for a reasonable amount of time, as determined by the College, prior to an appeal hearing.  The appealing student may also seek assistance from the Office of Accessibility Resources during the packet review due to a documented disability and reasonable accommodations will be made. Following the appeal hearing, the Chair will be provided with the judicial sanctioning history of the appealing student and a two-year sanctioning history of similar incidents to serve as a guide, not directive and with no expectation of adherence to past cases if the committee considers sanctions.

Retaliation:  Any retaliation based on information learned during the appeal process will not be tolerated and is considered a violation of the Code of Conduct.

Student Status: Upon submission of a request for a disciplinary appeal hearing, the student status is not changed during the appeal process and any imposed deadlines within sanctions are paused pending appeal outcome.  However, in the sole and absolute discretion of the College, any sanction that resulted in the appealing student being removed from all or any part of the college community due to a safety or disruptive matter, the student will remain banned from such area(s) during the appeal process.

Witnesses: The appealing student has the right to bring witnesses to the hearing. If the witness did not already do so during the incident investigation, they must submit a written statement to the Conduct Officer within 24 business hours prior to the hearing. Character witnesses are not allowed, but can be introduced during the hearing closing statement.

Disciplinary Appeal Timeline:

Timelines may be adjusted upon mutual consent, or when, after a good faith effort, it was not possible to convene the Disciplinary Appeals Committee according to the timeline. In cases where convening the Disciplinary Appeals Committee is projected to be delayed by more than 5 additional days, the Request for Disciplinary Appeal Hearing will be reviewed by, and determined by, the Chair of the Disciplinary Appeal Committee and if a hearing is granted, it will be heard by the Vice President for Student Affairs.

APPEALS MUST BE SUBMITTED WITHIN 5 DAYS OF RECEIVING SANCTION (All days are business days)

Disciplinary Appeal Timeline

Appeal Timeline 

Action
Within 2 days from receipt of appeal Conduct Officer notifies the Disciplinary Appeals Committee Chairperson that the appeal was submitted.  This notification will include the appeal timeline. 
Within 2 days from Chair being notified that appeal was submitted Disciplinary Appeals Committee Chairperson will schedule a meeting of the Disciplinary Appeal Committee to review the request for hearing.  Conduct Officer to finalize the Appeal Packet.
Within 3 days after Chair has scheduled a review meeting Disciplinary Appeals Committee will meet to review the appeal request and render a decision: Hearing Request Granted or Hearing Request Denied.   If Hearing Request is granted, the Disciplinary Appeals Committee Chairperson will schedule a hearing.  The Chair will notify Vice President for Student Affairs the Step 1 decision.
Within 2 days of the Step 1 hearing request decision

Hearing request decision is communicated to student.

•If Hearing Request Denied, the student is notified and this concludes the appeal process and the sanctions stand.  Original sanction deadlines that were paused when the appeal process began will be given adjusted deadlines.

•If Hearing Request Granted, the student is notified of the date, time, and location of appeal.  Hearing Format and Advisor Contact provided to student. The student must receive no less than 72 hour notice.

Between 3-5 days from student being notified of hearing date/time

Appeal Hearing held. 

Within 2 days from hearing Discipline Appeals Committee Chairperson notifies the Vice President of Student Affairs and Conduct Officer of the decision.
Within 2 days of being notified of decision Decision of hearing is communicated to the appealing student (via student email or in person) by the Chair of the Disciplinary Appeals Committee.  In cases where the decision resulted in modified or upheld sanctions, this communication will be in consultation with the Conduct Officer and Vice President for Student Affairs.