Code of Conduct
Students' Rights and Responsibilities, Code of Conduct & Disciplinary Procedures
Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the well being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of this academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for knowledge.
Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic conditions in the classroom, on the campus, other college sites, and in the community. Students are expected to exercise their freedom with responsibility. As members of the academic community, students are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership. As members of the larger community of which the college is a part, students are entitled to all rights and protection accorded them by the laws of the community.
By the same token, students are also subject to all laws, the enforcement of which is the responsibility of duly constituted authorities. When students violate laws, they may incur penalties prescribed by legal authorities. In such instances, college discipline will be initiated only if the presence of the student on campus is considered a possible threat to persons or property, or if that person's presence may disrupt the educational process of the college. However, when a student's violation of the law also adversely affects the college's recognized educational objectives, or violates the college's Code of Student Conduct, the college will enforce its own regulations. When students violate college regulations, they are subject to disciplinary action by the college whether or not their conduct violates the law.
A. The term "College" means Central Piedmont Community College ("CPCC").
B. The term "College Premises" is used to define and encompass all properties and facilities owned or leased by CPCC including all CPCC campuses and all off-campus sites at which the College conducts programs, services, or events.
C. "Student" is defined herein as any person enrolled in any course offered by the College at any location whether it is credit or non-credit. These policies, therefore, apply to any Student for any semester during which that Student is enrolled or during which an activity in question transpired.
D. The term "College Community" means all persons who are Students, College Officials, or any other person employed by CPCC.
E. The term "College Property" includes all items owned by the College.
F. The term "College Official" includes any person employed by the College, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
G. The term "College Administrator" includes any person employed by the College at the director level or above.
H. The term "Designee" means a person assigned by the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning to administer the Student Code of Conduct on any CPCC campus.
A. All rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution of the United States and by the State of North Carolina apply to all Students.
B. Students are free to pursue their educational goals. CPCC shall provide appropriate opportunities for learning in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. Student performance will be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards unless that conduct violates College regulations or the Code of Conduct as contained herein.
C. Students have the right to freedom of expression, inquiry, and assembly without restraint or censorship subject to reasonable and non-discriminatory College rules and regulations regarding time, place, and manner, provided such expression, inquiry, and assembly does not violate conditions defined in the Student Code of Conduct or other College policy.
D. Students have the right to inquire about and to propose improvements in policies, regulations, and procedures affecting the welfare of Students through established Student government procedures, campus committees, and College offices.
E. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 provides safeguards regarding the confidentiality of and access to Student records, and this Act will be adhered to by the College. Students and former Students have the right to review their official records and to request a hearing if they challenge the contents of these records. No records shall be made available to unauthorized individuals or groups outside the College without the written consent of the Student involved. Information deemed "directory information" under the Family Education Reports and Privacy Act of 1974 will be made public on request unless a Student prohibits the release of directory information in writing each semester of his/her enrollment. Such notice must be filed in the Student Records office.
F. Disciplinary sanctions include compliance with the Student Code of Conduct which provides for the right to an impartial hearing, a presentation of charges, evidence for charges, the right to present evidence, to have witnesses on one's behalf, to hear witnesses on behalf of the accuser(s), and the right of appeal.
G. Students who believe that their rights have been violated in the application of this policy or that it has been applied in a discriminatory manner should see the CPCC Policies and Procedures Manual section 4.60.
A. Jurisdiction of the Student Code of Conduct
The CPCC Student Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on the College Premises, at CPCC-sponsored activities (including CPCC-sanctioned attendance of foreign study programs), and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College Community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each Student shall be responsible for his or her conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment (and even if his or her conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded). The Student Code of Conduct shall apply to a Student's conduct even if the Student withdraws from the College while a disciplinary matter is pending. It is the discretion of the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the Student Code of Conduct shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus.
B. Rules of Conduct
The following sections describe activities and/or behaviors that are prohibited by the College. College Officials have the authority to take immediate action and begin disciplinary proceedings in response to violations of this Code of Conduct. Violation of one or more of the following regulations may result in one of the sanctions described in Section VI.
The College reserves the right to maintain a safe and orderly educational environment for Students and staff. Therefore, when in the judgment of College Officials, a Student's conduct disrupts or threatens to disrupt the College Community, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken to restore and protect the well being of the College Community.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with generally accepted standards of scholarship and morality. The purpose of this Code is not to restrict Student rights but to protect the rights of individuals in their academic pursuits.
1. Academic Dishonesty
a. Academic Integrity: It is the expectation of the College that students maintain absolute integrity and high standards of individual honor in their academic work. Conduct that violates the standards of academic honesty and integrity and is subject to disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, cheating, fabrication and falsification, plagiarism, abuse of academic materials, installation of a computer virus, and complicity in academic dishonesty. Any student who violates the CPCC Code of Student Academic Integrity is subject to academic disciplinary action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, entry of the incident in the records of the Office of the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning, reduced grades, and dismissal from College classes, programs, and activities. (Also see CPCC Code of Student Academic Integrity/Student Academic Integrity Policy.)
b. Network files: CPCC network files are provided to Students for academic work. These files are not private and are subject to review for compliance with the College's acceptable use policy for technology (see CPCC Policies and Procedures Manual section 6.20), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, and general copyright law.
a. Indecent Conduct: The College prohibits disorderly, lewd, or indecent conduct, including physical or verbal action; language commonly considered offensive (not limited to, but including profanity); or distribution of obscene or libelous written or electronic material.
b. Violence: The College prohibits mental or physical abuse of any person (including sex offenses) on College premises or at College-sponsored or College-supervised functions, including verbal or physical actions which threaten or endanger the health or safety of any such persons or which promote hatred or prejudice. This includes fighting and/or other disruptive behavior, which includes any action or threat of action which endangers the peace, safety, or orderly function of the College, its facilities, or persons engaged in the business of the College.
c. Harassment: The College prohibits any act, comment, behavior, or clothing which is of a harassing, offensive, intimidating, or sexually suggestive nature. The College also prohibits stalking, or behavior which in any way interferes with another Student's rights or an employee's performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. (This also includes the display or sending of or navigation to pornography and other inappropriate websites and materials.)
If, in the opinion of College Officials, clothing and/or behavior (including the presence of gang colors, signs, and/or symbols) are threatening, intimidating, or offensive in nature, sanctions may be imposed immediately.
d. Disruption: The College prohibits intentional obstruction or interruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities, including public service functions, and other duly authorized activities on College Premises or at College-sponsored activity sites.
e. Failure to Comply: Refusal to adapt one's behavior to instructions of College Officials is prohibited.
3. Use of College Property
a. Theft and Damage: The College prohibits theft of, misuse of, or harm to College Property, or theft of or damage to property of a member of the College Community or a campus visitor on College Premises or at a College function.
b. Occupation or Seizure: The College prohibits occupation or seizure in any manner of College Property, a College facility, or any portion thereof for a use inconsistent with prescribed, customary, or authorized use.
c. Presence on College Premises: The College prohibits unauthorized entry upon the College Premises; unauthorized entry into a College facility or a portion thereof which has been restricted in use; unauthorized presence in a College facility after closing hours; trespassing on College Premises in violation of a disciplinary sanction; or furnishing false information to gain entry upon the College Premises or into a College facility.
d. Assembly: The College prohibits participation in or conducting an informal or formal unauthorized gathering in a manner that threatens or causes injury to person or property or that interferes with free access to, ingress, or egress of College facilities that is harmful, obstructive, or disruptive to the educational process or institutional functions of the College; or remaining at the scene of such an assembly after being asked to leave by a College Official. For further information about public assembly, see CPCC Policies & Procedures Manual section 6.31.
e. Fire Alarms: The College prohibits setting off a fire alarm or using or tampering with any fire safety equipment on College Premises or at College-sponsored activity sites, except with reasonable belief in the need for such alarm or equipment. In the event of a fire alarm sounding, Students must evacuate the building unless otherwise directed by a College Official.
4. Drugs, Alcohol and Other Substances
a. Drugs and Alcohol: Substances referred to under this policy include all illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, and misused legal drugs (both prescription and over-the-counter). The College prohibits possession or use of alcoholic beverages on College Premises or at College-sponsored or supervised functions (including off-campus functions) unless otherwise permitted by a College Administrator. The College prohibits being in a state of intoxication on College Premises or at College-sponsored or supervised functions (including off-campus functions) or in a College-owned vehicle. The College prohibits possession, use, sale, or distribution of any controlled substance, illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia except as expressly permitted by law. Any influence which may be attributed to the use of drugs or of alcoholic beverages shall not in any way limit the responsibility of the individual for the conduct or consequences of his/her actions. For further information about this topic, see CPCC Policies and Procedures Manual section 4.01.
b. Tobacco and Food: The College prohibits eating and/or drinking in classrooms, shops, and labs or other unauthorized areas, unless otherwise permitted by College Officials.
The use of tobacco products in any form will not be permitted at any time on College premises. This applies to all College property on all campuses; all buildings, grounds, and parking lots; all students, employees, and visitors; all the time. For further information about this topic, see CPCC Policies and Procedures Manual, section 6.01.
5. Use of Technology
a. Damage and Destruction: Destruction of or harm to equipment, software, or data belonging to the College or to others is considered unacceptable usage and is subject to disciplinary action. This may include altering, downloading, or installing software on College computers, tampering with computer hardware or software configuration, improper access to the College's network, and disconnection of College computers or devices. For further information about the acceptable use of technology, see CPCC Policies & Procedure Manual section 6.20.
b. Electronic Devices: Unless otherwise permitted by College Officials, the College prohibits use of electronic devices in classrooms, labs, and other instructional, event, or support facilities. Such devices include, but are not limited to cell phones, beepers, walkie talkies, cameras, and other electronic devices, which may cause unnecessary disruption to the teaching/learning process on campus.
The College prohibits possession, storage, use, or threat of use of firearms, weapons, ammunition, incendiary devices or explosives on College Premises, or in personal vehicles parked on College Premises, or at College-sponsored activity sites. This also includes unauthorized use of any instrument capable of inflicting serious bodily injury to any person. Possession or use of firearms on College premises for instructional purposes must have the prior approval of the Vice President for Learning. Refer to CPCC Policies & Procedure Manual section 6.40.
North Carolina General Statute §14-269.2 makes it unlawful for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol, or any other weapon of like kind as defined by the statute. That statute overrides the North Carolina concealed weapons act.
Violation of this regulation will result in immediate and permanent expulsion, exclusion from College Premises, and arrest
7. Gambling and Games
The College prohibits gambling, card games, and other games that foster disruptive behavior. This includes participating on College Premises or at College-sponsored activity sites in an activity where making a set wager, or playing for money or material is involved.
The College prohibits violation of CPCC regulations regarding the operation and parking of motor vehicles on or around CPCC Premises. Refer to CPCC Policies & Procedure Manual section 7.07.
The College prohibits forgery, alteration, duplication, or misuse of College documents, records, computers, or instruments of identification with intent to deceive.
The College prohibits violation of the terms of disciplinary probation or any College regulation during the period of probation.
11. Financial Irresponsibility
The College prohibits failure to pay College-levied fines, failure to repay College-funded loans, the passing of worthless checks to College Officials, or any fraudulent action when transacting business on College Property.
12. Violation of CPCC Policy, Rule, or Regulation
The College prohibits violation of any CPCC policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on the CPCC website.
13. Violation of Law
The College prohibits violation of any federal, state, or local law.
V. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
This section describes College disciplinary procedures in response to violations of the Student Code of Conduct described in Section IV. The Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning is responsible for implementing Student discipline procedures
A. Interim Suspension
If an act of misconduct threatens the health or well being of any member of the College Community or disrupts the function or good order of the College or College Premises, the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning or his/her Designee may invoke immediate interim suspension. Furthermore, any College Official may direct a Student involved in such conduct to cease and desist and advise him or her that failing to cease and desist will result in immediate interim suspension. If the Student fails to cease and desist, the College Official may invoke interim suspension until disciplinary proceedings are completed. College Officials may contact College security officers to have the Student removed from campus.
Interim suspension may result in exclusion from class and/or other privileges including presence on College Property or College-sponsored activities until a final decision has been made concerning the alleged violation.
Upon invoking interim suspension, the College Official will file a written report to the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning including the individual(s) involved and the nature of the infraction(s). This report should be filed as soon as possible but no more than three work days following the incident. Incidents in the classroom should be reported to the Division Director by the instructor involved.
The College will also notify the Student in writing of the interim suspension and the reasons for the suspension. The notice will include a description of the ensuing disciplinary procedures including the time, date, and place of any subsequent hearing.
The Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning or his or her Designee shall resolve the matter in a timely fashion utilizing the steps outlined in Section V. B. of this Code.
In order to provide an orderly procedure for handling Student disciplinary cases, CPCC will adhere to the following procedures:
1. Complaints: Any member of the College Community may file a complaint with the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning or his/her Designee against any Student or Student organization for violations of College regulations. When a Student organization is charged with a violation, the Student organization's officers and faculty sponsor will represent the organization for purposes of carrying out these disciplinary procedures. The individual(s) making the complaint may complete a complaint form (available from the Office of the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning), or provide a document including the information listed below:
a. name of the Student or Student organization involved,
b. the provision of the Code of Conduct alleged to have been violated,
c. the time, place, and date of the incident,
d. names of person(s) directly involved, and/or witnesses to the infractions, and
e. any action taken that relates to the matter.
The completed complaint form or a document including the information listed above should be forwarded directly to the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning or his/her Designee.
2. Investigation and Disciplinary Hearing
Within seven (7) working days after the complaint is received, the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning or his/her Designee (the "Hearing Officer") shall complete a preliminary investigation of the complaint. The accused Student or Student organization shall initiate contact within seven (7) working days with the Hearing Officer to schedule a Disciplinary Hearing. Failure to schedule and/or attend the Disciplinary Hearing may result in the accused Student being placed on interim suspension.
Prior to the Disciplinary Hearing, the Hearing Officer will provide the Student or Student organization with written notice of the hearing and the alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. At the Disciplinary Hearing, the Student or Student organization will be given a copy of the complaint and the Disciplinary Hearing Officer will inform the Student or Student Organization of the results of his/her preliminary investigation.
The Student or Student organization will be afforded the right to respond by declaring guilty, not guilty, or guilty with mitigating circumstances, and will be given an opportunity to present matters that the Student or Student organization would like the Hearing Officer to consider. An accused Student does not have the right to representation, or to use any recording device, at a Disciplinary Hearing.
Following the Disciplinary Hearing, the Hearing Officer will take one of the actions described in section VI below. Unless the Hearing Officer dismisses the charges, the accused Student or Student organization has the right to request an Appeal within five (5) working days following receipt of the written decision of the Hearing Officer by sending a written request for an Appeal to the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning. The failure of the accused Student or Student organization to request an Appeal constitutes a waiver of an Appeal Hearing, in which case the decision of the Disciplinary Hearing Officer shall be final.
3. Appeal Hearing
The Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning or his/her Designee shall serve as the Appeal Hearing Officer. The Appeal Hearing Officer shill advise the accused Student or Student organization, in writing, of the date, time, and location of the Appeal Hearing and of the nature of the complaint.
The following rules and guidelines apply to an Appeal Hearing: (1) Students may be accompanied by an advisor, who may not be an attorney; (2) Student organizations may be represented by up two officers of the organization and their faculty advisor; (3) there is no requirement that the hearing be open to the public; (4) the accused Student (or his/her advisor) or Student organization will have the right to ask questions of witnesses that are present; (5) in cases of alleged sexual assault, the accuser and the accused Student are entitled to the same opportunities to attend and have others present during the hearing; (6) the formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal and civil court, will not be used in the hearing; (7) the College is not required to keep a transcript of the hearing; (8) an accused student does not have the right to use any recording device; (9) the Hearing Officer will apply a "more likely than not" standard for disciplinary decision making; and (10) the Hearing Officer must be notified at least two (2) working days prior to the hearing regarding anyone other than the principal parties who will be attending.
At the Appeal Hearing, the Hearing Officer will ensure that the accused Student has received notice of and understands the charges against him/her; allow the accused Student (and his/her advisor) or representatives of the Student organization to view any documents used to support the accusations; call witnesses, if the Hearing Officer determines that witnesses should be called; allow the accused Student the opportunity to present documents and witnesses in his or her support; and allow the accused Student to make a statement supporting his/her defense against the accusations and/or matters in mitigation.
Should an accused Student fail to appear at the Appeal Hearing, or if the accused Student refuses to formally respond to the charges, a plea of not guilty will automatically be entered for the Student and so noted, and the hearing will proceed. Following the Appeal Hearing, the Hearing Officer will take one of the actions described in section VI below.
4. Student Notification
After either the Disciplinary or Appeal Hearing, the Hearing Officer may act as follows:
a. Drop the charges.
b. Impose a sanction(s) consistent with those shown in Section VI.
c. Refer the Student to a College office or community agency for services.
The decision of the Hearing Officer shall be presented to the Student in writing following a Disciplinary or Appeal Hearing within five (5) working days. In instances following an Appeal Hearing, where the Student cannot be reached, or where the Student refuses to cooperate, the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning shall send a certified letter to the Student's last known address providing the Student with a list of the charges and the decision.
In the event of an alleged sexual assault, threat of violence, or any act of physical violence, the College may determine that the accuser has the need to know of any disciplinary action taken.
5. Administrative Notification
The Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning or his/her Designee will provide written notification to appropriate College offices (e.g., Registration, Student Financial Aid, Security, etc.) regarding the actions they need to take in response to the decision regarding the Student.
The following section describes College sanctions available to designated College Officials in response to violations of the Student Code of Conduct described in Section IV. The listing is not inclusive of all options which the College may choose to exercise. CPCC may impose more than one sanction for one act of misconduct. The Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning or Designee of the V.P. of Enrollment and Student Services will maintain the record regarding the implementation and other sanction in either the Student's educational record maintained by the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning office and/or the office of Student Life for Student organizations as appropriate.
A. Reprimand: A written or verbal communication which gives official notice to the Student that any subsequent offense against the Student Code of Conduct will carry heavier penalties because of this prior infraction.
B. General Probation: An individual may be placed on General Probation when involved in a minor disciplinary offense; General Probation has two (2) important implications: the individual is given a chance to show capability and willingness to observe the Student Code of Conduct without further penalty, and, if the individual errs again, further action will be taken. This probation will be in effect for no more than two (2) semesters.
C. Restrictive Probation: Restrictive Probation results in loss of good standing and becomes a matter of record in the Student's file. Restrictive conditions may limit activity in the College Community, including possible exclusion from class(es), program(s), and/or specific campus locations. Generally, the individual will not be eligible for initiation into any local or national organization, and may not receive any College award or other honorary recognition. The individual may not occupy a position of leadership or responsibility with any College or Student organization, publication, or activity. This probation will be in effect for not less than two (2) semesters. Any violation of Restrictive Probation may result in immediate SUSPENSION.
D. Restitution: Students and or Student organizations will be responsible for paying for damaging, misusing, destroying, or losing property belonging to the College, College personnel, or Students.
E. Loss of Academic Credit or Reduction in Grade: Imposed as a result of academic dishonesty.
F. Withholding Transcript, Diploma, or Right to Register or Participate in Graduation Ceremonies: Imposed when financial obligations are not met. The Student will not be allowed to register until all financial obligations are met.
G. Suspension: Exclusion from all College privileges and activities for a specified period of time. This sanction is reserved for those offenses warranting discipline more severe than probation, or for repeated misconduct. Students who receive this sanction must request and get specific written permission from the Dean of Student Life and Service-Learning or Designee of the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services before returning to campus.
H. Expulsion: Stripping a Student of Student status and dismissing a Student from campus for an indefinite period. The Student may be readmitted to the College only with written approval of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services.
I. Group Probation: This is given to a College organization for a specified period. If group violations are repeated during the semester of the sentence, the charter may be revoked or activities restricted.
J. Group Restriction: Removing College recognition during the semester in which the offense occurred or for a longer period (usually not more than one other semester). While under restriction, the group may not seek or add members, hold or sponsor events in the College Community, or engage in other activities as specified.
K. Group Charter Revocation: Removal of College recognition for a group, club, society, or other organization for a minimum of two years. Recharter after that time must be approved by the President.
L. Loss of Technology Privileges: Exclusion from all privileges associated with College technology access, including but not limited to email and network access and storage.
VII. FINAL APPEAL PROCEDURE
Following an Appeal Hearing, a Student or Student organization is entitled to a Final Appeal of the decision of the Hearing Officer only if the College violated its own procedures in conducting the Appeal Hearing. This request, which should be documented on a Final Appeal Form, must be submitted in writing to the Assistant to the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services within three (3) working days after receipt of the Appeal Hearing Officer's decision. The Assistant to the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services shall refer the matter to the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services within five (5) working days in a report which includes the Final Appeal Form, the nature of the misconduct, the name of the complainant, the name of the accused Student, and the relevant facts revealed by the Hearing Officer's investigation. The Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services will decide whether to grant the Final Appeal. If the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services grants the appeal, he/she will schedule the Final Appeal within ten (10) days following receipt of the Assistant to the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services' report.
If granted, the Final Appeal will take place before the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services. Students may be accompanied by an advisor, who may not be an attorney. Student organizations may be represented by up to two officers of the organization and their faculty advisor. The only issue to be decided in a Final Appeal is whether the College violated its own procedures in conducting the Appeal Hearing. The College is not required to keep a transcript of the Final Appeal.
A. Procedures for a Final Appeal Before the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services
The Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services must meet with the Student within ten (10) working days of receipt of a request for a Final Appeal. At least five (5) working days prior to the date set for the Final Appeal, the Assistant to the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services shall send a certified letter to the Student's last known address providing the Student with information regarding the time and place of the appeal. Within five (5) working days following the meeting with the Student, the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services must render in writing the decision regarding the Final Appeal. The decision of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services is final.
B. Final Appeal Outcome
If it is determined that the College violated its own procedures in conducting the Appeal Hearing, the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services may remand the case back to a third professional staff person within the Student Development area to conduct a new Appeal Hearing pursuant to Section V. 3. of these disciplinary procedures.
NOTE: Some Student policies have been edited for this handbook. For the complete text of all Student policies, please refer to the current CPCC Policies and Procedures Manual and the current CPCC Catalog, which are the ultimate authorities in such matters.