Student Code of Conduct
Student Conduct and Discipline Philosophy
The Tallahassee Community College (TCC) District Board of Trustees, faculty and staff are determined that the campus be a place of learning, safety, shared responsibility and harmony. To ensure this quality of life, TCC reserves the right to remove any person who acts to impair or prevent the accomplishments of any of the College's lawful missions, processes, or activities. The faculty, staff, and students have an obligation to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and high regard for the life and property of the College.
It is expected that all members of the educational community will share respect for the law and adhere to the highest ethical and moral standards of conduct. In the event that these high standards are not self-enforced the College will take action to protect its interests. Student conduct on campus and at off-campus-sponsored activities and facilities is expected to be supportive of these interests.
The disciplinary function at Tallahassee Community College is an integral part of the educational mission of the College. Discipline is seen as a tool for guiding and teaching rather than punishment. Since behavior, which is not in keeping with acceptable standards, is often symptomatic of attitudes, misconceptions, and emotional crises, the treatment of these symptoms through education and rehabilitative activities is an essential element of the disciplinary process. Severe disciplinary action against a student, such as suspension or expulsion, is considered and invoked only when other remedies fail. Even in the case of irrevocable expulsion for misconduct, the process will not be considered punitive in the criminal sense, but rather the determination that the student is unqualified to continue as a member of the College community.
As part of the Tallahassee Community College family - students, faculty, and staff - I hereby commit to uphold the highest standards of academic honesty, personal integrity, and respect for myself and others as essential components of academic and personal growth.
Standards of Conduct
Tallahassee Community College has established regulations which are considered necessary to preserve and maintain an environment conducive to learning, to insure the safety and welfare of members of the College community, to encourage students in the development and practice of good citizenship and self-discipline, and to protect property and equipment of the College. Following are the standards of conduct expected of students and other members of the college community.
A. The term College means Tallahassee Community College (TCC).
B. "Student Conduct Code" may be referred to hereinafter as the Code.
C .The term "student" includes all persons taking courses at TCC, both full-time and part-time. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with TCC are considered "students".
D.The term "faculty member" means any person hired by TCC to conduct classroom activities.
E. The term "TCC official" includes any person employed by TCC, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
F. The term "member of TCC community" includes any person who is a student, faculty member, TCC official, or any other person employed by TCC. A person's status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee.
G. The term "TCC premises" includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by TCC.
H. The term "organization" means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for TCC recognition / registration as an official student group.
I. The term "judicial body" means any person or persons authorized by the Vice President for Student Services or designee to determine whether a student has violated the Code and to recommend imposition of sanctions.
J. The term "Judicial Advisor" refers to the person who is authorized on a case-by-case basis by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee to impose sanctions upon students found to have violated the Code. The Director of Campus Life is authorized to serve simultaneously as judicial advisor and the sole member or one of the members of a judicial body.
K. The term "Appellate Board" means any person or persons authorized by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee to consider an appeal from a judicial body's determination that a student has violated the Code or from the sanctions imposed by the Judicial Advisor.
L. The term "shall" is used in the imperative sense.
M. The term "may" is used in the permissive sense.
N. The Vice President for Student Affairs is the TCC official responsible for the administration of the Code.
O. The term "policy" is defined as the written regulations of TCC as found in, but not limited to, the Student Conduct Code, Student Handbook, and TCC Bulletin.
P. The term "cheating" includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the TCC faculty or staff.
Q. The term "plagiarism" includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
A.The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee shall determine the composition of judicial bodies and Appellate Board(s) and which judicial body, Judicial Advisor and Appellate Board shall be authorized to hear each case.
B.The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee shall develop policies for the administration of the judicial program and procedural rules for the conduct of hearings, which are consistent with provisions of the Code.
C.Decisions made by a judicial body and / or Judicial Advisor shall be final, pending the normal appeal process.
D.The Judicial Advisor or judicial body may be designated as mediator of disputes within the student community in cases which do not involve a violation of the Code. All parties must agree to mediation, and to be bound by the decision with no right of appeal.
A.Two types of hearings (administrative and board) are provided for by the Student Conduct Code. Administrative hearings are more informal, can be scheduled more quickly than board hearings, and are usually better suited to cases involving fewer questions of fact. Board hearings are generally more appropriate for cases involving more serious charges.
B.The administrative hearing will be conducted by the Director of Campus Life or Judicial Advisor or designee.
C.The board hearing shall consist of two faculty members and two student representatives. The Director of Campus Life or Judicial Advisor will act as coordinator of the hearing.
D.Normally, students may choose the hearing type to adjudicate their case. However, the Director of Campus Life or Judicial Advisor or designee reserves the right to choose the appropriate hearing type based on the nature and circumstances of the case.
E.If the accused student fails to appear for the hearing, the hearing may be held in the accused student's absence.
F.Prior records of disciplinary action and impact statements will be considered by the hearing body only in the sanctioning phase of deliberations.
G.The hearing body's determination of "responsible" or "not responsible" will be based solely on information presented at the hearing.
A.Jurisdiction of the College -- Generally, the College's jurisdiction and discipline shall be limited to conduct which occurs on College premises or which adversely affects the College community and / or the pursuit of its objectives. However, TCC will exercise its right to discipline a student for activities, which take place off-campus when those activities adversely affect the College community. The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will consider and determine on a case by case basis any off-campus activity in which the College jurisdiction should be asserted.
B.Conduct Rules and Regulations -- Any student found to have committed the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV:
- Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
- Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty,
- Furnishing false information to any TCC official, faculty member or office, including writing bad checks to TCC for payment of fees.
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any TCC document, record, or instrument of identification,
- Tampering with the election of any TCC recognized student organization.
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other TCC activities, including its public-service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-TCC activities, when the act occurs on TCC premises.
- Physical abuse, including but not limited to, sexual battery or rape, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and / or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
- Attempted or actual theft of and / or damage to property of TCC or property of a member of the TCC community or other personal or public property, including the theft of textbooks or library books. The sale of a stolen textbook shall be considered a violation of the Code.
- Hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.
- Failure to comply with directions of TCC officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and / or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
- Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys to any TCC premises or unauthorized entry to or use of TCC premises.
- Violation of published TCC policies, rules or regulations.
- Violation of federal, state or local law on College premises or at TCC sponsored or supervised activities.
- Use, possession, or distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law.
- Use, public intoxication and possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by the law and TCC regulations.
- Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on TCC premises.
- Participation in a campus demonstration which disrupts the normal operations of TCC and infringes on the rights of other members of the TCC community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and / or normal activities within any campus building or area; intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus.
- Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on TCC premises or at TCC sponsored or supervised functions.
- Conduct which is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on TCC premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by TCC.
- Theft or other abuse of computer time, including but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose,
- Unauthorized transfer of a file,
- Unauthorized use of another individual's identification and password,
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or TCC official,
- Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages,
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of TCC computing system.
- Abuse of the Judicial System, including but not limited to:
- Failure to obey the summons of a judicial body.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a judicial body.
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding, or any other TCC proceeding including class.
- Institution of a judicial proceeding knowingly without cause.
- Attempting to discourage an individual's proper participation in, or use of, the judicial system.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a judicial body prior to or during the judicial proceeding.
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and / or intimidation of a member of a judicial body prior to, during, or after a judicial proceeding.
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code.
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the judicial system.
- Sexual battery in any form, including attempted or acquaintance rape will not be tolerated by the College. There is also a range of exploitive behavior, which does not amount to assault, which may result in disciplinary action against the perpetrator. Attempts to obtain sexual favors through psychological coercion, including but not limited to threats to embarrass or intimidate the victim (in a way that does not include threat of force) are examples of behavior, which may result in disciplinary action.
- On occasion, situations may arise not specifically covered by College regulations or the code, but which are harmful to the welfare of the College community or are obstructive to the orderly processes of the College. In these incidents, interpretation will be made by representatives of the College and appropriate action will be taken.
C.Violation of Law and TCC Discipline
- If a student is charged only with an off-campus violation of federal, state, or local laws but not with any other violation of this Code, disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed for misconduct which demonstrates disregard for the TCC community. In such cases, no sanction will be imposed unless the student has been found guilty in a court of law or has declined to contest such charges, (e.g., "no contest" or "nolo contendere").
- TCC disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a law, which is also a violation of this Code. For example, proceedings under this Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
- When a student is charged by federal, state or local authorities with a violation of law, TCC will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also the subject of a proceeding before a judicial body under the Code, however, the College may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Code and of how such matters will be handled internally at TCC. TCC will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators. Individual students and faculty members, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives, as they deem appropriate.
A.Charges and Hearings
- Any member of the TCC community may file charges against any student for misconduct. Charges shall be filed as an incident report with the Campus Police Office and directed to the Director of Campus Life responsible for the administration of the TCC judicial system. Charges of academic dishonesty shall be reported directly to Campus Life. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably within a seven-day period. Reporting Acts of Sexual Misconduct: Victims of sexual battery are encouraged to report the incident in order to deter these assaults and to ensure that services are provided.
- For special assistance, students may call the TCC Counseling Office at (850) 201-8440.
- For other services, they may call: Tallahassee Memorial Hospital / 431-1155, Capital Regional Medical Center / 325-5000, Rape Crisis / 681-2111 and Telephone Counseling / 224-6333.
- Victims utilizing the College's services shall treated with the utmost respect and dignity and their case shall be handled with complete confidentiality.
- The Judicial Advisor may conduct an investigation to determine if the charges have merit and / or if they can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved and on a basis acceptable to the Judicial Advisor. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the Judicial Advisor may later serve in the same matter as the judicial body or a member there of.
- All charges shall be presented to the accused student in written form at a required "Information Hearing Session." During that session, a time shall be set for a hearing, not more than fifteen calendar days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Director of Campus Life.
- Hearings shall be conducted by a judicial body according to the following guidelines:
- Hearings normally shall be conducted in private. At the request of the accused student, and subject to the discretion of the chairperson, a representative of the student press may be admitted to the hearing, but shall not have the privilege of participating in the hearing.
- Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the judicial body and / or its Judicial Advisor.
- In hearings involving more than one accused student, the coordinator of the judicial body, at his or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
- The complainant and the accused have the right to be assisted by an advisor of their choice, at their own expense. The advisor may be an attorney. The complainant and / or the accused is responsible for presenting his or her own case and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or participate directly in any hearing before a judicial body.
- The complainant, the accused and the judicial body shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses, subject to being questioned by the judicial body. The accused also has the right to question the complainant and witnesses, within reasonable limits set by the judicial body. Reasonable limits may include requiring that questions be directed through the judicial body.
- The burden of proof rests with the College. the standard of proof shall be "more likely than not," i.e., whether it is reasonable to conclude from all the evidence submitted by both the College and the student that the student did commit the violation(s) with which charged.
- Pertinent records exhibits and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by a judicial body at the discretion of the coordinator.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the coordinator of the judicial body.
- After the hearing, the judicial body shall determine (by majority vote if the judicial body consists of more than one person) whether the student has violated each section of the Code which the student is charged with violating.
- The judicial body's determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is "more likely than not" that the accused student violated the Student Code.
- There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a tape recording, of all hearings before a judicial body. The record shall be the property of TCC.
- Except in the case of a student charged with failing to obey the summons of a judicial body or a TCC official, no student may be found to have violated the Code solely because the student failed to appear before a judicial body. In all cases, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.
- The Office of Campus Life may place a disciplinary hold on the records or registration of any student who fails to respond to a judicial notice. In such instances, an additional charge may be added;: "failure to comply."Any pending judicial matters must be resolved prior to a student's subsequent registration or graduation.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Code:
- 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 be violating any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
- Loss of Privileges - Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Fines - Previously established and published fines may be imposed.
- Restitution - Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and / or monetary or material replacement.
- Academic Penalty - For academic dishonesty violations, the student will be given a zero / "F" for the assignment / course as indicated by the case.
- Discretionary Sanctions - Work assignments, essays, community service or other related discretionary assignments.
- Suspension - Separation of the student from TCC for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Dismissal - Separation of the student from TCC for an indefinite period of time. Readmission may be possible based on meeting all admission criteria and obtaining clearance from the Director of Campus Life or designee. Dismissed students will have the following notation made on their college transcript: "Disciplinary Dismissal."
- Expulsion - Permanent separation from TCC. When a student is found responsible for behavior which warrants expulsion, the Director of Campus Life or designee shall forward the findings and recommendations of the case to the Vice President for Student Affairs for review prior to the effective date of implementation of the action to be taken. Expelled students will have the following notation made on their transcript: "Disciplinary Expulsion."
- Stop Order - a stop order is placed on a student who has unfinished business with a College official or department. A stop order prohibits a student from the following: obtaining transcripts, obtaining a diploma, receiving funds, registering for classes, and attending classes. The stop order is lifted only if the student attends to the matter, which initiated the stop order.
- More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
- First offense students who are found guilty of selling or attempting to sell stolen books and / or book theft will have the following sanctions applied:
- Be placed on disciplinary probation
- Be assessed a fifty dollar ($50) fine for each book sold and / or stolen
- Make restitution to the TCC Bookstore and / or victim(s) as appropriate
- Complete a community service contract, whereby the student will be required to do a minimum of twenty hours of community service on the TCC campus. If sanctions are not met, the college will proceed with additional charges.
- First offense students who are found guilty of academic dishonesty as determined by the instructor of the course will have the following sanctions applied:
- Be given a grade of zero (0) for the assignment / exam involved.
- If successful completion of the assignment / exam is required for the course, the student will also be given an "F" for the course.
- A copy of the action will be forwarded to the Office of Campus Life where it will be maintained in a disciplinary file. Should the student be charged a second time of academic dishonesty, the student will be required to go through the judicial process as outlined in the Student Handbook.
- Other than TCC expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student's permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student's confidential record. Upon graduation, the student's confidential record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than suspension or expulsion, upon application to the Director of Campus Life. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than suspension or expulsion shall be expunged from the student's confidential record three (3) years after final disposition of the case or according to state laws.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
- Those sanctions listed above in Section B 1, a through k;
- Deactivation: Loss of all privileges, including TCC recognition, for a specified period of time.
- In each case in which a judicial body determines that a student has violated the Code, the sanction(s) shall be determined and imposed by the Director of Campus Life or Judicial Advisor. In cases in which persons other than or in addition to the Director of Campus Life have been authorized to serve as the judicial body, the recommendation of all members of the judicial body shall be considered by the Director of Campus Life or Judicial Advisor in determining and imposing sanctions. The Director of Campus Life or Judicial Advisor is not limited to sanctions recommended by members of the judicial body. Following the hearing, the Director of Campus Life or Judicial Advisor shall advise the accused in writing of its determination and of the sanctions(s) imposed, if any.
C.Interim Suspension -- In certain circumstances, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may impose a TCC suspension prior to the hearing before a judicial body.
- Interim suspension may be imposed only: (a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the TCC community or preservation of TCC property; (b) to ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or (c) if the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operation of TCC.
- During the interim suspension, students shall be denied access to the campus (including classes) and / or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Vice President for Student Affairs may determine to be appropriate. Students suspended on an interim basis shall not normally be given any special considerations because of their separation from the College (i.e., make-up tests, refund of fees, etc.). Any request for special considerations may be addressed to the Vice President for Student Affairs in writing following the disposition of the case.
- The student has the right to appeal an interim suspension and request a speedy hearing regarding whether the interim suspension should continue until a hearing is held on the facts of the case. The appeal must be in writing and directed to the Office of Campus Life within two school days of notice of interim suspension. The appeal hearing will be held by the Vice President for Student Services or designee within three school days of the receipt of the appeal request.
- Appeals of Judicial Hearing Results -- Except as required to explain the basis of new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the hearing, an appeal shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and supporting documents by an Appellate Board for one or more of the following purposes:
- 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 Code was violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.
- 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 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 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.
- If an appeal is upheld by the Appellate Board, the matter may be resolved by the Appeal Board or may be remanded to the original judicial body and the Judicial Advisor for re-opening of the hearing to allow reconsideration of the original determination and / or sanctions.
- In cases involving appeals by a student accused of violating the Code, review of the sanction by the Appellate Board may not result in more severe sanction(s) for the accused student. Instead, following an appeal, the Vice President for Student Affairs may, upon review of the case, reduce, but not increase, the sanctions imposed.
- In all cases, once final action has been taken, the Director of Campus Life shall inform the accused and the complainant in writing of that action.
- An appeal must be in writing and directed to the Campus Life office within five school days of the notice of suspension or expulsion.
- An Appellate Board shall consist of at least one faculty member and one student representative.
A. Rights of the accused student
- To be given a written notice of the Student Conduct Code charge and the allegations upon which the charge is based.
- To be given an information session, at which time the judicial process and the student's rights will be fully explained. The student will be permitted to review all materials related to the charge and then confirm the forum in which the case will be heard. An agreed upon date will then be set for the hearing.
- To have the hearing handled in a forthright and timely fashion.
- To be accompanied during the hearing by an advisor of the student's choice.
- To be given a fair and impartial hearing, during which the student will be permitted to address the charges and provide information, including witnesses.
- To have past behavior and / or charges excluded from the hearing process. However, such information may be considered as part of the sanctioning phase.
- To know that a tape recording will be made of the entire hearing process.
- To write an impact statement to be considered only during the sanctioning phase, if found responsible.
- To appeal the decision of the hearing body.
B. Rights of the Alleged Victim or Complainant
- To have a judicial referral handled in a forthright and timely fashion.
- To be accompanied during the hearing by an advisor of the complainant's choice.
- To have unrelated past behavior excluded from the judicial process.
- To submit questions to the hearing body. The hearing body will then consider posing the questions to the charged student.
- To submit a statement about the impact of the offense, to be considered by the hearing body only in the sanctioning phase of deliberations if the accused student is found responsible for the charge.
- To be present throughout the hearing, or portions thereof, as approved by the hearing coordinator.
- To be notified of the outcome of the hearing process.
- To know that a tape recording will be made of the entire hearing process.
- To appeal the decision of the hearing body.
- In some instances, the complainant / victim may not want to face the charged student in the same room. If so, the complainant / victim may be permitted, at the approval of the hearing coordinator, to provide testimony in a separate room through technological media.
A.Any question of interpretation regarding the Code shall be referred to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his or her designee for final determination.
B.The Code shall be reviewed annually under the direction of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
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