Student Code of Conduct
IV. Purpose and Scope of the Student Code of Conduct
- The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct is to provide a set of rules and to ensure that all students receive fair treatment as described in this Student Code of Conduct when violations of the rules occur. Students should be aware that the student conduct process is quite different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Procedures and rights in student conduct proceedings are conducted with fairness to all, but do not include the same protections afforded by the courts. Fair treatment assures written notice and a hearing before an objective decision-maker, as described within these procedures. No student will be found in violation of College policy without information showing that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred, and any sanction will be proportionate to the severity of the violation.
- The Student Code of Conduct will apply to students engaging in activities on campus, or at any of the Passaic County Community College premises as well as to College approved functions on or off campus.
- Special Provisions:
- Attempted Violations - PCCC will treat attempts to commit any of the violations listed in the Student Code Conduct as if those attempts had been completed.
- College as Complainant - As necessary, PCCC reserves the right to initiate a complaint, to serve as complainant, and to initiate conduct proceedings without a formal complaint by the victim of misconduct.
- False Reports - PCCC will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation.
- Immunity for Victims/Witnesses/Those Offering Assistance - The PCCC community encourages the reporting of conduct code violations and crimes. It is in the best interests of this community that victims, witnesses and those offering assistance report violations to College officials. To encourage reporting, PCCC reserves the right to offer victims of crimes, witnesses and those offering assistance various degrees of immunity including amnesty.
- Parental Notifications Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). PCCC reserves the right to notify the parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any conduct violation. Regardless of dependency status, PCCC may contact the parents/guardians or family of any student to inform them of situations in which there is a health and/or safety risk. PCCC reserves the right to designate which college officials have a need to know about individual conduct complaints pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Notification of Outcomes - The outcome of a campus hearing is part of the educational record of the accused student, and is protected from release under federal law, FERPA. However, PCCC observes the legal exceptions as follows:
- Complainants in non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse incidents have an absolute right to be informed of the outcome and sanctions of the hearing, in writing, without condition or limitation.
- Complainants in sexual exploitation/sexual harassment complaints have a right to be informed of information regarding sanctions that personally identifies and is directly pertinent to them, such as the imposition of a restriction on physical contact between the complainant and the accused student. Otherwise, information on the outcome and sanction cannot be shared.
- PCCC may release publicly the name, nature of the violation and the sanction for any student who is found in violation of a college policy that is a "crime of violence". PCCC may release this information to the complainant in any of these offenses regardless of the outcome, but complainants are cautioned that FERPA does not permit them to re-release this information to others.
- Misconduct Online. Students are cautioned that inappropriate behavior conducted online can subject them to College conduct violations. Students must also be aware that blogs, web pages, and online postings are in the public sphere, and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online. The College may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of College officials.