Student Code of Conduct and Due Process

A student at Sussex County Community College is considered a member of both the academic community and democratic society. As such, students are entitled to the rights and responsibilities of other citizens with regard to freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, and right of petition. Among these are the freedoms to teach and to learn; to inquire and to dissent; to speak freely and to be heard, and to assemble and to protest peaceably.

Code of Conduct

Sussex County Community College seeks to provide a safe and secure environment, through the promulgation of a student code that respects and protects the rights and welfare of its members and one which is conducive to the pursuit of education. The College reserves the right to suspend or dismiss students for failure to conform to its rules and regulations or for conduct detrimental to the best interest of the College Community.

In exercising this right, the College may subject students to disciplinary action for failure to comply with college policy when attending college functions either on-campus or off-campus or functions of college-chartered organizations or college-sponsored events conducted either on-campus or off-campus.

Students may be subject to discipline for on or off-campus violations of law. When such actions represent a threat to the welfare of the College Community they shall also be subject to campus discipline. The dismissal of criminal charges will not necessarily result in the College’s dismissal of campus charges and sanctions.

A. Misconduct:
Violation of the following code may result in disciplinary action (up to and including dismissal.) This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and the College reserves the right to take disciplinary action in any circumstance where it reasonably believes it necessary for the best interest of the College Community.

  • Academic cheating or plagiarism
  • Possession of firearms, fireworks, explosives, or any other material or weapon or weapon replica considered deadly or dangerous
  • Furnishing false information to the College including forgery, alteration, or misuse of college documents, timesheets, records or identification
  • Disruptive or disorderly behavior in the classroom, on campus, or at a college-related function
  • Physical violence or the threat of physical violence
  • Sexual harassment or other forms of harassment
  • Cyberbullying
  • Stalking
  • Assault and/or battery
  • Manufacture, possession, sale, or use of controlled or illegal substances, including alcohol, unless expressly permitted by the college officials or law
  • Destruction, damage, or misuse of public or private property
  • Illegal entry and/or occupation of college property
  • Theft, larceny, embezzlement of public or private property, including the issuance of bad checks
  • Unauthorized use of computers or software
  • Obscene conduct
  • Failure to comply with reasonable direction of college officials in performing their duties
  • Violation of other college policies or regulations, or violation of federal, state, or local laws
  • Using the college name for soliciting funds or other activities without prior permission
  • Acting or speaking, including in assembly, on campus which disrupts the normal functions of the College or its authorized activities
  • Violation of campus parking rules
  • Theft, modifications, and/or vandalizing of electronic data or unauthorized entry of databases
  • Violation of disciplinary sanctions
  • Consumption of food or drink in prohibited locations
  • Aiding or abetting another in an action that would incur college discipline
  • Smoking or use of tobacco products
  • Failure to wear footwear in college buildings
  • Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a disciplinary proceeding

B. Reporting Misconduct:

  1. Charges for violations of the student code may be initiated by a campus community member (faculty, student, staff, and administrator) or by an on-campus visitor via the College Incident Report form available at the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Retaliation against the person reporting the violation is strictly forbidden and will result in disciplinary action.
  2. Code violations are to be filed within the semester of occurrence in writing with the Dean of Students for Judicial Affairs, hereafter referred to as the  Dean or designee who will review the complaint and make a determination to dismiss or proceed with disciplinary action. If the determination is to proceed, the  Dean will notify the student in writing of the charges no more than 21 days from the original complaint.

C. Dean’s Preliminary Hearing
The Dean will convene a hearing with the student in those cases where an alleged violation would carry a penalty no greater than a written or verbal warning.

  1. The student shall have the right to plead his/her innocence and to present evidence or witnesses to that end.
  2. The student shall have the right to seek the assistance of another student, faculty, or staff member in the representation of his/her defense. A student may not be represented by legal counsel.
  3. The Dean of Students for Judicial Affairs will render a verbal decision at the hearing or a written decision no later than five days after that.
  4. Warnings, if issued, will stipulate specific beginning and ending dates.

D. Selecting a Judicial Process:
In those cases where an alleged violation would carry a penalty greater than a warning, that is, probation, restitution, community service, suspension, or dismissal, the Dean or designee will offer the accused the option of selecting a Dean’s Judicial as described in the preceding (C: 1-4) or to select a Campus Standards Judicial. The Dean may in some cases deny the request for a Dean’s Judicial when such a process would, in the opinion of the Dean, not be in the best interest of the student or the College Community.

. Campus Standards Judicial:

  1. The Campus Standards Judicial process will be available to students during the Fall and Spring Semesters. Violations of the code during the Winter and Summer semesters will be adjudicated through the Dean’s of Students Judicial process.
  2. Should a student select a Campus Standards Judicial, the Dean will appoint a Standards Board consisting of one student, one faculty and up to two Student Services staff members.
  3. The student shall have the same rights and be subject to the same timetable as stipulated for the Dean’s Judicial.
  4. With the conclusion of the process, the Standards Board shall render a decision and recommendations to the Dean for Judicial.
  5. Should the Standards Board reasonably substantiate the guilt of the accused, the Dean will apply sanction(s) as appropriate to the offense and within the confines of the sanctions contained herein. All such actions will stipulate the beginning and ending dates of the sanction. The Asst. Dean may at his/her discretion stipulate that the disciplinary records associated with some violations be expunged in accordance with a timetable determined by the Dean.

F. Failure to Appear:
Judicials will meet at the scheduled time. The failure of a student to appear after proper notification shall not be cause for the postponement of the judicial; the judicial shall proceed and render judgement. Judgement shall be based on the facts ascertained during the judicial.

G. Sanctions:
Sanctions will include but are not limited to oral and written warnings, probation, probation with a limitation of college activities, restitution, community service, suspension, and dismissal.

H. Appeals:
In those cases where the Dean renders a formal disciplinary decision, the student shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Dean of Student Affairs. All such appeals must be in writing and filed within five calendar days of the notification of action, that is, a warning, probation, suspension, dismissal, or other sanction. In those cases where a designee of the Dean has rendered a decision, appeals will be filed in writing to the Dean within five calendar days of the action. All appeals will be responded to in writing within ten calendar days. The decision of the Dean of Student Affairs, Dean, or designee shall be final. The student shall not have the right of an in-person appeal.

I. Expedient Authority:

  1. Interim suspension: In the event a behavior represents in the judgement of the Dean, a danger to the campus community, the Dean may suspend a student and declare the student persona non grata from the campus pending the convening of the Campus Standards Board. The student will, in all cases, be entitled to a hearing.
  2. Removal from class: Should a faculty member determine that a student’s behavior in a particular class is disruptive such that the normal purpose of the class cannot be fulfilled, then the faculty member may direct that the student leave the class. Should the student refuse the directive to leave, the faculty member may call security to have the student removed from class. At the conclusion of the class, the faculty member will file a written report with the Dean, who will schedule a meeting with the student. The student may not return to class until he/she has met with the Dean. Should mediation not be successful, the Dean will initiate a judicial process as
    appropriate to the circumstances.

J. Off-Campus Jurisdiction:
Violations of municipal, state, or federal laws, if committed off campus, shall be the subject of college disciplinary action when in the judgment of the Asst. Dean, it represents a danger to life, welfare, or property of members of the College Community. The Asst. Dean may choose to impose an interim suspension and a declaration of persona non grata pending the outcome of the criminal process; however, the student shall be provided the opportunity to participate in the campus standards process subsequent to the finalization of the criminal process.

K. Refunds:
Students suspended, dismissed, or who otherwise withdraw as the result of a disciplinary process shall not be eligible for a refund based upon such events unless the event occurs within the published refund period.