Article III: Student Conduct Code Procedures
A. Investigation and Informal Process
- Any member of the College community may file a written complaint alleging that a student or a student organization has violated student conduct proscriptions. Any complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. Persons filing complaints shall be informed of their rights under the Minnesota Data Practices Act. Following the filing of a complaint against a student or student organization, the Administrator shall conduct an investigation of the allegations.
- If the complaint seems unwarranted, the Administrator may discontinue proceedings.
- If there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint, the Administrator shall offer the alleged student violator an opportunity to resolve the alleged violation at an informal meeting. Prior to this meeting, the student shall be given written notice of the specific complaint against him/her and the nature of the information available to support the complaint and provided with a copy of the Code of Conduct. During the meetings the Administrator shall review the complaint and the information with the student and allow the student to present an explanation against the complaint.
- Within a reasonable time period following the meeting, the Administrator shall inform the alleged student violator in writing of his/her decision whether a violation of the code was established by a preponderance of evidence and any applicable sanction as well as options available for an appeal and/or a formal hearing.
- A student who is subject to a sanction of expulsion or suspension, except summary suspension, for more than nine (9) days may agree to accept the sanction or may request a formal hearing. The formal hearing should be held within a reasonable time. Other sanctions shall be accepted or may be appealed in accordance with the college's appeal procedures.
- If the alleged student violator fails to appear for the informal hearing, the administrator may proceed to review and act upon the complaint in his/her absence and shall notify the student in writing of an action taken.
- A sanction shall not become effective during the time in which a student seeks an appeal or formal hearing, unless, in the discretion of the administrator, it is necessary to implement an immediate sanction for the safety and welfare of the College community.
- Appeals of any sanction to the SRRB may result in the imposition of new sanctions in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
B. Formal Hearing
- The College president or designee determines the composition of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Board (SRRB.) Students serving on the SRRB shall be appointed by the Student Senate. The SRRB hearings shall be conducted by a student panel according to the following guidelines:
- SRRB hearings normally shall be conducted in private.
- Students or organizations referred for a formal hearing shall be given adequate advance notice in writing of the time, place, and date of the hearing. A student or organization's failure to appear at the hearing shall not prevent the hearing from proceeding as scheduled.
- Within a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the student must be informed in writing of: a) the complaint; b) the information to be presented against him/her; c) a list of witnesses; and d) the nature of their testimony.
- In hearings involving more than one alleged student violator or organization, the administrator, in his or her discretion, may permit the hearing concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
- The student shall be given the opportunity to speak in his/her own defense, to present witnesses and to question any witnesses and to have an advocate present at their own expense. The advocate may provide advice to the student but may not participate in any questioning. When there is likelihood that a student involved in conduct proceedings will face criminal prosecution for a serious offense, it may be advisable that the student have an attorney as the advocate.
- A written notice of findings and conclusions shall be provided to the student within a reasonable time after the hearing. The notice shall inform the student of any sanction to be imposed. The notice shall also contain information regarding the applicable appeal process.
- The hearing may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, alleged student violator and/or other witness during the hearing by providing for the presence of law enforcement and/or security, separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the administrator to be appropriate.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Code of Conduct:
- Oral Warning - A verbal notice to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
- Warning - A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
- Probation - A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period. The college may impose specific written conditions for the probation.
- Loss of Privileges - Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Restitution - Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Discretionary Sanctions - Work assignments, essays, service to the college or other related discretionary assignments.
- Suspension - Denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-enrollment may be specified.
- Expulsion - Permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment at the college.
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree - Admission to or a degree awarded from the college may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation or other violation of college standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
- Withholding Degree - The College may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.
More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
2. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
- Those sanctions listed above;
- Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time;
- Deactivation. Loss of all privileges, including college recognition, for a specified period of time.
D. Summary Suspension
In certain circumstances, the Administrator may impose a summary suspension prior to the informal or formal proceedings described in the previous articles. A summary suspension may be imposed only when, in the judgment of the Administrator, the alleged student violator's presence on the College campus would constitute a threat to the safety and well-being of members of the campus community. To the greatest extent possible before implementing the summary suspension, the alleged student violator shall be given oral or written notice of the intent to impose summary suspension and shall be given an opportunity to present oral or written arguments against the imposition of the suspension. However, the refusal of a student to accept or acknowledge this notice shall not prevent the implementation of a summary suspension. Notice of the summary suspension shall be provided in writing to the student. After the student has been summarily suspended, the student shall be provided an opportunity for a formal or informal hearing within the shortest reasonable time period, not to exceed nine (9) school or business days. During the summary suspension, the student may not enter the campus without obtaining prior permission from the Administrator.
- A decision reached by the Student Rights and Responsibilities Board or a sanction imposed by the Administrator may be appealed by the alleged student violator(s) or complainant(s) to the Vice President of Student Affairs or other designated administrator within five (5) school or business days of the notification of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the administrator or his or her designee.
- Except as required to explain the basis of new information, an appeal shall be limited to a review for one or more of the following purposes:
- To determine whether the informal or formal hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures, giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information that the Code was violated, and giving the alleged student violator a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to those allegations. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
- To determine whether the decision reached regarding the alleged student violator was based on substantial information--that is, whether there were facts in the case that, if believed by the fact finder, were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Code occurred.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Code which the student was found to have committed.
- To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original informal or formal hearing.
3. If an appeal is not upheld by the Vice President of Student Affairs or other administrator for this purpose, the Vice President of Student Affairs may take any appropriate action. If an appeal is upheld, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved, except in cases involving sanctions of suspension for ten (10) days or longer, in which case students shall be informed of their right to a contested case hearing under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 14.