Rationale

Bridgemont CTC expects that every member of its academic community share its commitment to honesty, integrity, and the search for truth. In addition, Bridgemont CTC is concerned with the living and learning environment of all its students. It is expected that each person will grow to have greater respect for self, others, and property.  

Students and student organizations are required to engage in responsible social conduct that reflects credit upon the College community and to model good citizenship in any community.

It is further expected that every member of the academic community will respect the democratic process, a society based on law, and the basic tenets on which our country was founded. All students at Bridgemont CTC are citizens of the larger community, and as such are free to exercise their fundamental and constitutional rights. Rights and responsibilities under local, state, and national law are neither abridged nor extended because of student status, and each student must be mindful of his/her responsibility in this regard.

The college will not request special consideration for students charged with violations of a city, county, or state law on the basis of their status as students, nor will prosecution by federal, state, or local authorities necessarily preclude disciplinary action by the college.

Students charged with violations of the conduct code will be provided substantive and procedural due process and the right of appeal. Their right to be treated with respect and dignity will be protected.

When a student is charged with a specific violation, the college will employ procedures for determining if the charge is fair and accurate. The Code of Student Conduct explains specific procedures used in determining the fairness and accuracy of such charges and the sanctions which might be imposed if the charges are found to be true.

Opportunities for participation in the process and equality of treatment are afforded all students, irrespective of race, religion, age, sex, handicap, or national origin. To ensure this, state and federal regulations and the guidelines and requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972 are followed.

Definition of Student

A student is defined as any of the following:

  1. Any person who has been admitted to Bridgemont CTC to pursue a course of study or service.
  2. Any person who is currently engaged in an institutionally sponsored activity.
  3. Any person who has some right or privilege to be on the campus or in the facilities of the institution, or to use the same, in connection with study or service.
  4. Any person who yet has some right or privilege to receive some benefit or recognition or certification from the institution, under rules, regulations, or policies of the Bridgemont Board of Governors or the institution.

Jurisdiction of the Code of Student Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on Bridgemont premises, at Bridgemont CTC sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the Bridgemont CTC community and/or the pursuit of its objectives.

Each student shall be responsible for his/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 their conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded).

The Code of Student Conduct shall apply to a student’s conduct, while a student, as defined in this Code, even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. The Dean of Student Services or his/her designee shall decide whether the Code of Student Conduct shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis.

Standards of Conduct

Misconduct, including but not limit to following, is subject to disciplinary and other appropriate action including the sanctions of suspension or expulsion:

  1. Unauthorized possession or duplication of keys to college-owned or college-controlled property.
  2. Disruption or obstruction of, or leading or inciting others to disrupt or obstruct, teaching, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other College activities, including its public-service functions on or off-campus, or other authorized non-College activities when the act occurs on College premises.
  3. Unlawful assembly.
  4. Unauthorized occupancy of college buildings.
  5. Attempted or actual theft, malicious destruction or alteration of college, faculty, staff or student property or equipment.
  6. Possession, use or distribution of alcohol or any illicit drugs or controlled substances, except as permitted by law; public intoxication.
  7. Intentional false reporting of a fire or bomb or other explosive device that allegedly has been placed on school property. Intentionally activating a false fire alarm or tampering with any type of safety equipment, including fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and smoke detectors.
  8. Dishonesty including fraud, forgery, cheating and plagiarism or knowingly furnishing false statements.
  9. Disorderly, lewd, indecent or obscene conduct on college-owned or controlled property or at college-sponsored or supervised functions; breach of the peace; public disturbances.
  10. Illegal or unauthorized possession or use of firearms, guns, knives, other weapons, explosives, dangerous chemicals, fireworks or other items with potential to cause harm, or use of any such item, even if legally possessed, in a manner that harms, threatens or causes fear to others.
  11. Physical or verbal abuse, fighting, assaults or battery, intimidation, threats, or harassment of any kind to another person or group of persons, or action which threatens or endangers the health, well being or safety of any person.
  12. Abuse of the Code of Student Conduct and hearing procedures; violation of prior disciplinary rulings or sanctions.
  13. Hazing, which means to recklessly or intentionally cause any action or situation which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of another person or causes another person to destroy or remove public or private property for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a team, a group or student organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Knowingly witnessing or acquiescing in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of this rule.

14.   Sexual offenses, including, but not limited to:

  1. Sexual intercourse with, and/or sexual intrusion against, a person capable of giving consent, without such person’s consent, or a person incapable of giving consent;
  2. Sexual assault or abuse, statutory or acquaintance rape, sexual harassment.
  3. Discrimination, which means individually or by joining with one or more other persons, to promote or demand action that would constitute unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, political affiliation, handicap or age.
  4. Misuse of the college computer system as defined in “Appropriate Use of Computer Resources”, including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. disruption or interference with the normal use of the computers, computer-related equipment, data, or programs of individuals, the Network or the college;
    2. use of this equipment, data, or programs in performance of any act listed as prohibited in this document;
    3. attempts to breach security in any manner;
    4. use of a computer account for other than the purpose for which assigned.
    5. Failure to comply with the lawful directions of any college official, staff member or student employee who is acting in the performance of their duties or who has responsibility in the absence of a particular official.
    6. Violation of federal, state or local law.
    7. Violation of any published college policies, rules or regulations published in hard copy or available electronically on the college website.
    8. Inciting others to commit any of the acts listed above; involvement as an accessory to any of these acts; assisting or encouraging others to engage in violation.

Disciplinary Action  

Violation of these standards may result in the initiation of a disciplinary complaint against the student by another student, by a faculty or staff member, or by any academic or administrative officer of the college and subsequent disciplinary action by the college.

Complaints must be submitted to the Dean of Student Services in writing. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place or the discovery of the same, but in no event later than ninety (90) days after the event takes place or the discovery of the same.

The Dean of Student Services shall conduct a preliminary investigation for the purpose of ascertaining whether the charges may be disposed of informally. If charges cannot be resolved informally, or if the sanction of suspension or expulsion is likely to be sought, a time shall be set for a hearing not fewer than five (5) or more than thirty (30) working days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Dean of Student Services, where adherence to such limits would be impracticable.

The possible disciplinary actions of the college are listed and defined as follows:

  1. Official warning indicates that the behavior of the student does not meet the expectations of the college and notifies the student that his/her conduct should be more appropriate in the future.
  2. Activity restriction/loss of privileges means that college privileges may be restricted, and participation in extracurricular activities may be limited or denied.
  3. Probation indicates that additional misconduct may result in suspension or expulsion as determined in a second disciplinary action. While on probation, college privileges may be restricted, and participation in extracurricular activities may be limited or denied.
  4. Fines. Previously established and published fines may be imposed.
  5. Restitution. Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  6. Discretionary Sanctions. Work assignments, service to the College or other related assignments, determined at the discretion of the Dean of Student Services.
  7. Interim Suspension. In certain circumstances, the Dean of Student Services or his/her designee may impose a College suspension prior to the hearing before the Disciplinary Hearing Board. Interim suspension may be imposed only:

a) to ensure the safety and well being of members of the College community or              preservation of College property.

b) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well being.

c) if the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the             normal operations of the College.

During the interim suspension, student shall be denied access to the campus (including classes and on-line course work) and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Dean of Student Services or his/her designee may determine to be appropriate. The interim suspension does not replace the regular process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through a hearing with the Disciplinary Hearing Board, if required.

  1. Suspension means separation of the student from the College for a definite period of time not to exceed one (1) year, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
  2. Expulsion means permanent separation from the institution, including termination of any remaining right or privilege to receive some benefit or recognition or certification. Conditions for readmission, if any, may be stated in the order.

The following sanctions may be imposed upon student groups or organization:

  1. Official Warning
  2. Activity restriction/loss of privileges
  3. Probation
  4. Fines
  5. Restitution
  6. Discretionary Sanctions
  7. Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time
  8. Deactivation

In cases which would not result in suspension or expulsion for the Accused, the Dean of Student Services may determine whether to impose disciplinary action which may be in the form of activity restrictions, loss of privileges, probation or other corrective measures. In the event that the Dean of Students makes such a determination, each of the Complainant and the Accused shall have the right, but not the obligation, to appeal the decision, or the sanction imposed as a result thereof, to the Student Grievance and Discipline Committee.

If the Complainant or the Accused desires to appeal such decision or sanction, the Dean of Student Services must be notified in writing within five (5) working days following notice of the decision or sanction.

If no appeal is made, then the proceeding is closed. Any decision and sanction imposed becomes part of the record of the Accused and may be distributed to others, as, and to the extent, allowed by law.

All cases that could result in suspension or expulsion must be submitted to the Student Grievance and Discipline Committee for a formal hearing.

Student Rights

Any student involved in a hearing or the appeal process will be afforded proper due process. This includes, but may not be limited to, a written statement of the charges, a fair hearing, and the opportunity to present relevant evidence.

Each Complainant and the Accused shall have the right to have an advisor present at the hearing, but only in an advisory role.  The adviser may be a parent or guardian, a student at the College, or a member of the faculty or staff of the College.

In cases where expulsion is likely to be sought, the advisor may be an attorney who may directly participate in the hearing. Students retain attorneys in such cases at their own expense and must notify the Dean of Student Services at least forty-eight hours prior to the hearing if an attorney will be present at the proceedings.

Student Grievance and Discipline Committee Composition

The Student Grievance and Discipline Committee shall consist of the following members: Dean of Student Services (ex‐officio, non‐voting), Human Resources Director (ex‐officio,non‐voting), four faculty representatives to be elected by the general membership of the Bridgemont CTC Faculty Assembly, one faculty alternate from each of the academic clusters, one student representative from each academic cluster appointed by the Student Government Association President, subject to the approval of the Student Government Association Senate (must have 2.5 GPA, may not be from the same academic cluster as the student(s) involved in the grievance, must be in good academic standing), one student alternate from each academic cluster appointed by the Student Government Association President, subject to the approval of the Student Government Association Senate (must have 2.5 GPA, may not be from the same academic cluster as the student(s) involved in the grievance, must be in good academic standing).  Each proceeding shall be heard by a board consisting of an odd number of participants, with a minimum of three (3) voting members.

Disciplinary Hearing Procedure

 

Hearings regarding disciplinary complaints are dealt with in accordance with the following procedures:

  1. The Dean of Student Services shall notify the members of the Student Grievance and Discipline Committee and the parties to the proceeding in writing of the meeting date, time and place at least ten (10)* working days prior to the meeting  
    1. In cases involving potential suspension or expulsion, the student must be informed of his/her right to have legal counsel present at the hearing.
    2. At least five (5)* working days prior to the hearing, each member of the Committee is furnished a written summary statement from all parties involved.
    3. All hearings will be private.
    4. At the hearing, witnesses may be called by the -Committee or by the parties to the proceeding.
    5. All material evidence may be presented subject to the right of cross examination of the witnesses.
    6. There shall be a complete and accurate record of the hearing. The record shall be the property of the College. Access shall be provided only in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), and in accordance with any other applicable terms set forth by the College.
    7. The proceedings shall not be subject to federal, state or local rules of process, procedure and evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court. The College shall have the authority to develop guidelines related to such proceedings, to the extent not inconsistent with this Code.
    8. The chairperson of the Committee shall have the authority to determine questions of process, procedure and evidence at a hearing, in a manner not inconsistent with the rules and guidelines referenced above.
    9. Pertinent records, exhibits, written statements, and any other relevant information may be accepted as evidence for consideration at the discretion of the chairperson.

10.  Within three (3)* working days after the hearing, the Committee shall issue its determination on the charges and sanctions, if any.  In cases where the sanction of expulsion is likely to be sought, the Committee’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether there is clear and convincing evidence that the Accused violated the Code of Student Conduct. For all other cases, such determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the Accused violated the Code of Student Conduct.

11.  The decision of the Committee shall be provided in writing to the parties and to the Dean of Student Services.

12.  All hearing records shall be submitted to the Dean of Student Services.

*Specified time intervals may be extended, at the discretion of the Dean of Students, where adherence to such limits would be impracticable or if any members selected for the Committee are not available on campus during the specified period. The Dean of Student Services shall notify all parties concerned in writing if such extensions are necessary.

Disciplinary Appeal Procedure

 

The decision of the Student Grievance and Discipline Committee is final in all cases where it serves as an appellate venue to a determination made by the Dean of Student Services.

In all other cases, the Committee’s decision and/or sanctions may be appealed by the Accused or the Complainant to the Campus President within five (5)* working days of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Dean of Student Services who will deliver the notice of appeal and the hearing records to the Campus President for review.

Except as required to explain the basis of new evidence, an appeal to the Campus President shall be limited to review of the record of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:

  1. To determine whether jurisdiction as established in the Code of Student Conduct was properly asserted.
  2. To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Student Code was violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.
  3. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code occurred.
  4. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code which the student was found to have committed.
  5. To consider new evidence, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.

The Campus President shall respond to the appeal and deliver a decision within thirty (30) days of receipt of such appeal.  In situations where adherence to such a time period would be impracticable, the time period shall be extended as warranted by the particular circumstances. Review of the sanction by the Campus President may not result in more severe sanction(s) for the accused student.

 

Confidentiality

Members of the Student Grievance and Discipline Committee play a sensitive role within the institutional governance structure. Thus, it is important that the members maintain high performance and ethical standards. The following is designed to safeguard the rights of students and to uphold the integrity of the disciplinary procedure as a whole:

  1. The name or status of students involved in disciplinary situations shall not be discussed with anyone outside the hearing body membership except as otherwise required by this Code, by law or court order.
  2. In no instance shall the closed deliberations of the hearing body be discussed, nor shall confidential information be revealed except as otherwise required by this Code, law or court order.

The votes cast by members of the hearing body shall be treated as confidential and shall not be shared outside the hearing room except as otherwise required by this Code, law or court order.