Student Code of Conduct
VI. Conduct Procedures - (Non Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and/or Stalking violations)
A. Complaints and Hearings
1. Any member of the College Community may file a complaint against any student for violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Complaints will be prepared in writing and directed to the Dean of Student Affairs, the administrator responsible for the coordination of the College Student Code of Conduct. Any complaint must be submitted within five (5) days. Complaints may be submitted after a longer period of time has elapsed at the discretion of the Dean of Student Affairs.
2. The Dean of Student Affairs, his/her designee, or other College officials may conduct an investigation to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe that an alleged violation has occurred. In such cases a determination and/or if the complaint can be addressed administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved. Such disposition will be final, and there will be no subsequent proceedings. If the complaint cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the Dean of Student Affairs may refer the matter to the Judicial Affairs Committee, or in the case of a lesser offense, handle as noted below:
a. Lesser Offenses - In the case of all lesser offenses deemed by the Dean of Student Affairs not to constitute acts that would result in suspension or expulsion of the student or students, the Dean of Student Affairs will determine whether a violation has occurred and the sanctions that are appropriate by an informal process which will include talking to the student(s), giving the student(s) information about the regulation(s) allegedly violated and an opportunity for the student(s) to state his/her side of the incident. If the Dean of Student Affairs finds that it is more likely than not that a rule was violated, the Dean of Student Affairs may impose conduct sanctions as follows:
i. Verbal reprimands
ii. Verbal reprimands confirmed in writing.
iii. Temporary suspension of parking privileges
iv. Smoking violation fine
v. College community service
vi. All of the aforementioned.
b. Other Offenses - In cases where because of a prior conduct record, or because the alleged violation is of such a nature that, in the opinion of the Dean of Student Affairs suspension or expulsion could be imposed, the Dean of Student Affairs will refer the student to the Judicial Affairs Committee.
3. All complaints will be presented to the accused student in a written form. Written Notice will be mailed to the address on record but can also be emailed to a student's official College email account. Notice is presumptively delivered upon being mailed or emailed. The letter of notice will state the alleged incident as well as stating all policies that the accused student is alleged to have violated. A time shall be set for a hearing preferably no more than ten (10) business days after the student has been notified.
4. Hearings shall be conducted by the Judicial Affairs Committee according to the following guidelines:
a. The Judicial Affairs Committee which functions under the bylaws of the Academic Council will elect the Chairperson of the Committee.
b. Each person involved as a complainant or as an accused student will be required to supply a written account of the incident.
c. The accused student and the complainant will be notified by the Dean of Student Affairs in writing of the time and place of the hearing, the violations against him/her, and his/her right to identify witnesses on his/her behalf.
d. The parties to the complainant will be given the opportunity to object to the participation of any member of the Judicial Affairs Committee on the basis of conflict of interest. The committee will determine the validity of the claim.
e. An accused student in need of interpretive services will be permitted the option of requesting an interpreter approved by the Dean of Student Affairs to assist the student in the comprehension of questions from the committee and/or in the presentation of the student's responses to questions. The assisting individual may translate only that for which the student requires a precise translation and will not be permitted to edit such remarks or proffer commentary.
f. At the conduct hearing, the Chairperson of the Judicial Affairs Committee will read the complaint alleging violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
g. Hearings will be conducted in private.
h. The Judicial Affairs Committee, at the discretion of the Chairperson, may accept pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements as information for consideration. In-person statements by eyewitnesses are preferred.
i. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Chairperson of the Judicial Affairs Committee. Formal rules of evidence, such as those applied in a criminal or civil court, do not apply.
j. The complainant and/or the accused are responsible for presenting his or her own information to the Committee.
k. The complainant, the accused, and the Dean of Student Affairs may identify witnesses who may have helpful information for the Committee. The Committee will determine what questions to ask of witnesses, with input the Committee considers helpful from the complainant, accused student, and the Dean of Student Affairs.
l. After the hearing, the Judicial Affairs Committee shall determine by majority vote whether the student has violated each section of the Student Code of Conduct that the student is accused of violating. The Judicial Affairs Committee’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct. The Committee will make a written recommendation to the Dean of Student Affairs about possible appropriate sanctions, if any violations of the Student Code of Conduct are found.
1. The Dean of Student Affairs may impose the following sanctions upon any student found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct, but before doing so, the Dean of Student Affairs will consider the recommendation of the Judicial Affairs Committee and will consult with the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. The Dean of Student Affairs will notify the student. One or more of the following sanctions may be imposed for a single rule violation:
a. Warning - A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated College regulations.
b. 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 College regulation(s) during the probationary period.
c. Loss of privileges - Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
d. Restitution - Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
e. Suspension i.e. Separation of the student from the College for a given period of time with the term specified to the student. The conditions for readmission will be specified. A student suspended from the College forfeits all rights and privileges of a student. This may include the opportunity to attend any public and/or non-public College-sponsored functions. This may include being barred from PCCC premises. All suspension actions will be noted in the student’s record. In certain circumstances the Dean of Student Affairs with approval of the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs may impose an interim suspension from PCCC prior to a hearing of the Judicial Affairs Committee. In the event of an appeal, the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and/or the Dean of Student Affairs may continue any previous suspension until disposition of the appeal.
f. Expulsion - Separation of the student from the College and barring from College property and all College-sponsored events. An expelled student may apply for reinstatement after a year to the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
1. A decision that a student did or did not violate PCCC regulations and/or a decision that imposed sanctions may be appealed by the accused student or complainants to the President of Passaic County Community College within five (5) school days of the decision. Such appeals will be in writing and will be delivered to the President or his or her designee. The President reviews the matter only to determine whether one of the following grounds for appeal has merit: was the original hearing conducted fairly in light of the alleged violation and information presented and in conformity with PCCC regulations and/or procedures;
a. was the determination about whether the regulations and/or procedures were violated based upon substantial information; that is, was there information sufficient to justify the Committee’s determination;
b. was the sanction(s) imposed appropriate for the violation of the Student Code of Conduct which the student was found to have committed;
c. is there new information sufficient to alter a decision because such information was not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
2. The President, upon the filing of such appeal, may (a) affirm the decision as to whether PCCC regulations were violated and, if so, impose a sanction(s) or (b) remand to the original Judicial Affairs Committee and the Dean of Student Affairs and/or the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs to correct an error in following PCCC procedures.
3. The President will advise the student in writing within a reasonable time of his/her decision.