Student Code of Conduct

I.  PREAMBLE

The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct is to outline the expectations regarding student behavior and to assist in the maintenance of a productive, safe educational environment.

When students violate college regulations, they are subject to disciplinary action by the college whether or not their conduct violates the law. If a student’s behavior simultaneously violates both college regulations and the law, the college may take disciplinary action independent of that taken by legal authorities.

II. STUDENT RIGHTS

Legal Rights

  • All rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution of the United States and by the state of North Carolina shall not be denied any student. Furthermore, MCC shall adhere to all of the statutes of the United States and the state of North Carolina.

Rights of the Learner

  • Students have the right to freedom of expression, inquiry, and assembly without restraint or censorship subject to reasonable and non-discriminatory rules and regulations regarding time, place, and manner.  Freedom of expression must conform to generally recognized community standards of decency and morality.
  • Student performance will be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.
  • Students have the right to inquire about and to propose improvements in policies, regulations, and procedures affecting the welfare of students through established student government procedures, campus committees, and college offices

Freedom of Association 

  • Students are free to organize, to join an association or organized club, or to propose the creation of new clubs and association that promote students’ program or career interest.

Student Records

  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 provides safeguards regarding the confidentiality of, and access to student records.   (See the Privacy of Student Records Procedure for more information).

Due Process:

  • No disciplinary sanctions other than admonition, warning, reprimand or temporary suspension from a single class or activity may be imposed upon any student without notice and opportunity for response.
  • Students have the right to written notice of the provision of the Student Code of Conduct which they are accused of violating, a summary of the relevant facts, and an opportunity to respond to the Dean of Students before a sanction is given.
  • Students have the right to review all evidence, including written statements made against them.  Students must make a request to the Dean of Students five (5) working days in advance to review documents.  (Strict rules of evidence do not apply in the discovery session.)
  • Students may present testimony, witnesses and evidence.
  • The student may have one advisor of his/her choice present during the discovery session.  However, the advisor must be unobtrusive and the student must speak for him/herself.  If the student elects to be advised by legal counsel during the discovery session, s/he may do so at his/her expense, for advising purposes only, and the student must inform the Dean of Students 48 hours in advance of his/her decision to engage counsel. • All parties deemed relevant by the Dean of Students have the right to testify or refuse to testify without such refusal being detrimental.
  • A student has the right to appeal any decision or sanction imposed by a College faculty or staff pursuant to the appropriate procedures.  For incidents of discrimination and sexual misconduct, see the Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy; for disciplinary matters, see herein; for all other matters, unless specific procedures apply, see Student Grievance Procedure.  

III.  STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT

This Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in courses at Mayland Community College.

All students and staff shall be provided a safe, peaceful and honest educational environment.  Therefore, when in the judgment of college personnel a student’s conduct disrupts or threatens to disrupt the college community or learning environment, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken to restore and protect the safety, peace, and integrity of the community.

Students are expected to conduct themselves according to generally accepted standards of scholarship and conduct.  The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct is not to restrict student freedoms but to protect the rights of individuals in their academic pursuits.

Therefore, students are prohibited from engaging in any conduct that adversely affects the educational process including, but not limited to, the following rules:

Rule 1. State and Federal Laws
A student shall not violate any state or federal laws while on MCC campuses or while attending an MCC activity, function, or event off MCC grounds.

Rule 2. Weapons and Dangerous Instruments NC General Statute 14-269.2
It is unlawful for anyone to possess a weapon, whether openly or concealed, on educational property or to a curricular or extracurricular activity sponsors by the school.  This prohibition does not apply to weapons used as part of a school activity or ceremony or to a person who has a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of GS 14-269, has a concealed handgun permit considered valid under GS 14-415.24, or is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to GS 14-415.25, provided the weapon is a handgun, is in a closed compartment or container within the person’s locked vehicle, and the vehicle is in a parking area that is owned or leased by State Government. A person may unlock the vehicle to enter or exit the vehicle, provided the handgun remains in the closed compartment at all times and the vehicle is locked immediately following the entrance or exit. (Effective October 1, 2013)

Rule 3. Narcotics, Alcoholic Beverages, and Controlled Substances
A student shall not knowingly or negligently own, possess, use, transport or be at any time under the influence of any narcotic drug, alcoholic beverage or any other controlled substance (as controlled substance is defined by the North Carolina General Statutes or 21 U.S.C. subsection 812) while on MCC grounds or during the time when a student is participating in any MCC activity, function, or event off MCC grounds. Use of any drug authorized by medical prescription from a registered physician shall not be considered a violation of this rule. However, students shall be held strictly accountable for their behavior while under the influence of prescribed medicines.

Rule 4. Sexual Misconduct
It is in violation of the MCC Code of Conduct for a student to engage in sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including any conduct or act of a sexual nature perpetrated against an individual without consent. Sexual misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex. Sexual misconduct also includes complicity in sexual misconduct. The College encourages reporting of all Sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to:
1. dating violence;
2. domestic violence;
3. non-forcible sex acts;
4. sexual assault;
5. sexual exploitation;
6. sexual harassment; and
7. stalking.
Consent may never be given by minors, even if the other participant did not know the minor’s age, or mentally disabled persons, if their disability was reasonably knowable to a sexual partner who is not mentally disabled (Please be aware that MCC has minors and persons with disabilities on campus). (See the MCC Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Procedure for more information.)

Rule 5. Harassment
It is in violation of the MCC Code of Conduct for a student to engage in harassment.  Harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other legally protected status not listed herein, or that of his or her relative, friends, or associates, and has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment; has the purpose or effect of interfering unreasonably with an individual’s academic performance; or otherwise adversely affects an individual’s educational opportunities. 
1. threatening or intimidating conduct directed at another because of the individual’s protected status.
2. jokes, name calling, or rumors based upon an individual’s protected status.
3. ethnic slurs, negative stereotypes and hostile acts based on an individual’s protected status.
(See the MCC Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Procedure for more information.)

Rule 6. Discrimination
It is in violation of the MCC Code of Conduct for a student to engage in discrimination.  Discrimination is any act or failure to act that unreasonably and unfavorably differentiates treatment of others based solely on their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status.  Discrimination may be intentional or unintentional.  (See the MCC Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Procedure for more information.)

Rule 7. Academic Dishonesty and Cheating
It shall be a violation of the MCC Code of Conduct for a student to commit any one of the following acts:

1. Academic cheating, including, but not limited to, unauthorized copying of academic work of another, collaboration for use of notes or books on examinations without prior permission of the faculty member. Plagiarism or the intentional presentation of work of another without proper acknowledgment of the source.
2. Fabrication and falsification or the intentional misrepresentation of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
3. Submission of substantial portions of the same academic work for credit more than once without authorization. 4. Abuse of academic materials in the form of destruction, theft, or concealment of library or other resource material or of another student's notes or laboratory experiments.
5. Complicity in academic dishonesty in helping or attempting to help another student to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
6. Forgery, alteration, copyright violation, or misuse of college documents, records, computer software, Internet materials, or instruments of identification with intent to deceive or disrupt.
7. Having someone other than the student do work for that student.
(See the MCC Academic Integrity Code for more information.)

Rule 8. Harm to Persons
A student shall not intentionally or recklessly cause physical harm or endanger the health or safety of another person.

Rule 9. Verbal or Written Abuse
A student shall not intentionally cause, or attempt to cause or threaten to cause, verbal abuse, harassment, communication of threat, or direct any profane language toward another.

Rule 10. Bullying and Cyberbullying
It is in violation of the MCC Code of Conduct for a student to engage in bullying or cyberbullying.  Bullying and cyberbullying are repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that intimidate or intentionally harm or control another person physically or emotionally, and are not protected by freedom of expression.

Rule 11. Damage, Destruction, or Taking of Private Property
A student shall not intentionally, willfully or wantonly cause, or attempt to cause, damage to MCC property or private property of another, or shall not steal, or attempt to steal, MCC property or private property of another when on MCC grounds or while attending a MCC activity, function, or event held off MCC grounds.  

Rule 12. Disruption and Disorderly Conduct
A student shall not engage directly or indirectly in disorderly conduct which is intended to provoke violent retaliation or cause a breach of peace which disrupts, disturbs, or interferes with the normal routine activities or teaching of students, or with the peace, order, or discipline on MCC grounds.

Rule 13. Lewd or Indecent Conduct
A student shall not engage in lewd or indecent conduct, including public physical or verbal action or distribution of obscene or libelous material. 

Rule 14. Dress Code
Students may dress informally while at MCC, but cleanliness and neatness of appearance must be maintained. Shirts and shoes are required at all times while the student is on campus or at all times while such student is attending a MCC activity, function or event off MCC grounds. Clothing that has vulgarities, lewd acts or comments, or promotes hate or violence should not be worn. Special technical or vocational credit programs, such as the health or technical programs, may require special attire for clinical, laboratory, or shop areas. A student shall not attend classes or laboratory work conducted in the clinical, laboratory, or shop areas if such student is in violation of the attire codes for such areas.

Rule 15. Classroom and Campus Activities
A student shall comply with all directions of MCC faculty, staff, administrators, or authorized personnel during any time when the student is under the authority of MCC personnel.   A student on campus shall promptly identify him/herself to a MCC official or campus public safety officer at all times upon reasonable request.  A student shall appear before MCC officials or disciplinary bodies when so directed.  Any failure by any student to promptly obey or to abide by these regulations shall constitute a violation of this Code of Conduct.  

Rule 16. Tampering with Fire Alarms or Safety Equipment
It is not permissible for a student to set off, use, or tamper with a fire alarm or any fire safety equipment on college premises or at college-sponsored or college-supervised functions, except with reasonable belief in the need for such alarm or equipment.

Rule 17. Vehicles, Traffic and Parking Irregularities
Vehicles must be parked in designated areas.  Vehicles will be operated safely, moderately, and courteously.  The speed limit on campus is 20 miles per hour.  Vehicles must be registered in the MCC Bookstore.  Violators of traffic and parking regulations are subject to a fine for each violation.  A student’s registrations, records and grades may be withheld until fines are paid.  (See MCC Traffic and Parking Regulations for more information.)

Rule 18. Tobacco Free Campus
Tobacco use is prohibited in all college buildings, in vehicles, and on college property.  (See the Tobacco Free Campus Policy for more information).

Rule 19. IT and Acceptable Use
Students must not violate any provisions contained in the MCC information Technology Acceptable Use Policy.  This policy applies to IT resources owned and/or operated or services provided or subscribed to by MCC, hardwired and wireless, are intended for the use of MCC students, faculty, staff and other authorized individuals for purposes directly related to instruction and business operations. (See the MCC Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy for more information.)  

Rule 20. Children in Classrooms or Shop Areas
Children are not allowed in classrooms or shop areas during class sessions, nor may they be left unattended in the library, student commons, or on campus grounds.

Rule 21. Roller Skating, Roller Blading and Skate Boarding
For the safety and well-being of all MCC students, employees, and visitors, no one is permitted to roller skate, roller blade, or skateboard on sidewalks, parking lots, or any other college property.

Rule 22. Fiscal Irresponsibility
Fiscal irresponsibility such as failure to pay college-levied fines or debts, failure to repay college-funded loans, the passing of worthless checks to college personnel, or the failure to repay the overpayments of grants shall be handled through normal collection procedures.  Student records, grades and registrations will be held until financial obligations are met.

Rule 23. Animals
Animals, with the exception of animals that provide assistance (e.g. seeing-eye dogs), are not permitted on campus except as permitted by law.

Rule 24. Involuntary Psychological or Psychiatric Withdrawal
It shall be grounds for dismissal if and when it shall be medically determined that a student poses a threat to the physical well-being of self or others or if such student has a physical, mental, or emotional condition of such a nature as to disturb or disrupt the normal and usual activities of other persons on campus. A student shall agree to have a psychiatric evaluation when it appears to the satisfaction of the President of MCC, or his/her designee that such examination is in the best interest of the student, or MCC, or both.

Rule 25. Falsification
A student shall not knowingly furnish or possess false, falsified, or forged materials, documents, accounts, records, identification, or financial instruments.  This includes making false reports against another meant to mislead the College in any investigation or fact finding process.

Rule 26. Collusion
Action or inaction with another or others to violate the Student Code of Conduct is prohibited.

IV.   DISCIPLINARY PROCESS

The following disciplinary process will be followed when a curriculum student is suspected of violating the Student Code of Conduct.  If a student is enrolled in a Workforce Development or Continuing Education course, the disciplinary process will be expedited and outlined through the course syllabus.

A sanction of admonition, warning, reprimand, or temporary suspension may be imposed upon any student.  Other sanctions can only be imposed in accordance with the process called for under the Disciplinary Procedures.

1.  Temporary Suspension Procedures
If a faculty, instructor, or staff member determines that a student’s conduct disrupts the learning environment, or poses a threat to the health or well-being of any member of the academic community or the activities of the College, s/he may suspend the student from a single class meeting or activity.

Prior to the temporary suspension, the student will be given the opportunity to explain his/her conduct to the faculty, instructor, or staff member who is taking the suspension action. The faculty, instructor, or staff member invoking such suspension will complete an Incident Form with the Dean of Students and/or the appropriate Vice President immediately following the suspension.  The Dean will resolve the matter in a timely manner using the steps outlined below under Disciplinary Procedures.

Only the Dean of Students and/or an appropriate Vice President can temporarily suspend a student for more than a single class meeting or activity. In the event a temporary suspension for more than a single class period is warranted, the College will try to make arrangements so the student can either continue the course from a distance or make-up any missed course work if the student is not found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

If the student is not found in violation of the Student Code conduct, the student will be able to return to the course.

2.  Responsibility for Implementation
The Dean of Students is responsible for implementing student discipline procedures.

3.  Disciplinary Procedures
To provide an orderly procedure for handling student disciplinary cases, the following procedures will be followed:
a.  Reporting Party:  Any faculty, instructor, staff member, or student may file a complaint with the Dean of Students against any student or student organization for violations of college regulations.  The individual(s) making the complaint must complete an Incident Form which includes:
1. name of the individuals involved and/or witnesses;
2. a description of the incident or complaint, including the time, place, and dates;
3. any actions taken to resolve the concern and the result;
4. the reporting party’s desired outcome.

The Incident Form should be forwarded directly to the Dean of Students.  The Dean of Students, in consultation with the appropriate Dean, will determine if the student will be charged with violating the Student Code of Conduct. 

b.  Preliminary Investigation: Within ten (10) working days after the Incident Form is filed, the Dean will complete a preliminary investigation of the charge, which may include questioning witnesses.  During the course of the investigation, the Dean of Students will consult with appropriate Deans, Vice Presidents, other relevant College administrators, and the College attorney, when necessary. 

c.  Charge Letter:  Within ten (10) working days after the receiving the incident form, the Dean of Students will provide the student with a Charge Letter.  The letter will state the rule(s) allegedly violated, a brief description of the incident, that the student has ten (10) working days to meet with the Dean of Students for a Discovery Session. In instances where the student cannot be reached to schedule an appointment with the Dean or where the student refuses to cooperate, the Dean will send a certified letter to the student’s address on file. 

d.  Discovery Session:   Upon receiving the Charge Letter, the student has then (10) working day to meet with the Dean of Students for a Discovery Session.  During the discovery session, the student will be informed of the Incident Report, the alleged violation(s), the Student Code of Conduct/Disciplinary Process, and be given an opportunity to respond. 

e.  Further Investigation:  Depending on new information provided by the student, the Dean of Students may investigate the charge further.

f.  Decision and Sanction Letter:  Within ten (10) working days after the discovery session, the Dean of Students, in consultation with the appropriate Dean, will determine if the student has violated the Code and will notify the student of the decision.  If the Dean determines that the student has violated the Student Code, the Dean of Students, in consultation with the appropriate Dean, will determine the Sanction.  A letter will be sent that includes the specific provision(s) of the Student Code that the student violated, a statement of sanctions imposed, and a statement of the student’s right to appeal the decision.  In instances where the student cannot be reached to schedule an appointment with the Dean, where the student refuses to cooperate, or where the student has been expelled or banned from campus, the Dean of Students will send a certified letter to the student’s address on file.

g.  Evidentiary Standard: In the campus disciplinary process terms such as "guilt", "innocence", and "burdens of proof" are not applicable, but the College never assumes a student is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  An investigation is conducted to take into account the totality of all information available and a decision is made based on a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it is more likely than not that a student violated the Student Code of Conduct. 

h.  Dismissed Violation or Informal Resolution: If the Dean of Students determines that the student did not violate a provision of the Student Code of Conduct, or that informal admonition or counseling has resolved the Incident Report, then verbal or written communication will state that the charge has been dismissed or mutually resolved.

i.  Disciplinary Records: A confidential file regarding disciplinary procedures shall be maintained by the Dean of Students and, if appropriate, incidents are recorded in a Student Complaint Log and/or a Crime Log to comply with the Clery Act and SACS-COC.

V.  SANCTIONS

Student Code of Conduct sanctions or penalties are defined below.  Any of these may be applied for any student enrolled full-time or part-time in any curricular, continuing education, or literacy program of the college and to identifiable groups and organizations that are a part of the college community.

Repeating an offense for which a sanction has been imposed will be grounds for the imposition of a more severe sanction.

Any student, staff, faculty member or other college employee may give any student or group an admonition, warning, or reprimand at any time without due process.  The Dean of Students will impose more severe sanctions.

Student may be expelled from an individual program by a Division Dean if that program has particular requirements the student fails to meet, making the student ineligible for graduation from that program.

A.  Individual Sanctions:

Admonition:  Friendly advice, counsel, criticism, or rebuke that may be given in oral or written form.

Warning:  Oral or written notice that continuation of specified conduct may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.

Reprimand:  Written criticism for violation of specified college policy or regulation.

Temporary Suspension: Exclusion from class and/or other privileges or activities until a final decision has been made concerning the alleged violation.

Educational Assignments:  Educational sanctions may include, but are not limited to, work assignments, essays, community service, behavioral contracts and other related educational assignments.

Restitution:  Paying for damaging, misusing, destroying, or losing property belonging to the college, college personnel, or students.

Loss of Academic Credit or Change of Grade: Imposed because of academic dishonesty. Faculty may change a grade or require another measure of competency in cases of academic dishonesty if due process is given to the student. 

Restricted Access: MCC maintains the right to set reasonable limitations on a student in the interest of protecting the safety of the student or other individuals.  If it is brought to the College’s attention that a student has a history of dangerous activity, including registration as a sex offender, or if the student has been involved in a disciplinary action, restrictions can be enforced.  Restriction may include, but are not limited to:
• Limiting a student to a particular Campus or Learning Center
• Restricting a student to specific days and times on campus
• Restricting a student to a certain area of the campus
• No Contact Orders: Requiring the student to keep a reasonable distance and to avoid communication with certain individuals or groups that may be threatened by the student’s past or present behavior.

General Probation: Imposed for involvement in a minor Student Code of Conduct disciplinary offense.  General Probation has two important implications: (1) the individual is given a chance to show his/her capability and willingness to observe the Student Code of Conduct without further penalty; and (2) if s/he violates the Code again, additional sanctions will be imposed.

Restrictive Probation: Results in loss of good standing. Notation of this is made in the individual’s record.  Restrictive conditions may limit activity in the college community.  Generally the individual will not be eligible for initiation into any local or national organization, and may not receive any college award or other honorary recognition.  The individual may not occupy a position of leadership or responsibility with any College or student organization, publication, or activity.  Any violation of Restrictive Probation may result in immediate suspension.

Suspension:  Exclusion from class(es) and/or all other privileges or activities of the college for a specified time.  This sanction is reserved for those offenses warranting discipline more severe than probation or for repeated misconduct.  Students who receive this sanction must get specific written permission from the Dean of Students before returning to campus.

Expulsion:  Dismissing a student from campus for an indefinite period.  The student loses his/her student status.  The student may be readmitted to the college only with the approval of the College President.

Referral to Law Enforcement:  If the student is suspected to have violated a law, a referral to local enforcement may be made.  This sanction can be used for educational purposes as part of the discipline process.

B. Group Sanctions:

Group General Probation: This is given to a college club or other organized group for a specified period.  If group violations are repeated during the term of the probation, the charter may be evoked or activities restricted.

Group Restrictive Probation: Removing college recognition during the semester in which the offense occurred or for a longer period.  While under restriction, the group may not seek or add members, hold or sponsor events in the college community, or engage in other activities as specified.

Group Charter Revocation: Removal of college recognition for a group, club, society, or other organization.  A group may petition for re-charter if the President, or designee, approves a time frame.

VI. Appeal Process

1. If the student is not satisfied with the Dean of Students determination s/he may file an appeal, in writing, to the Vice President of Academics and Student Development within ten (10) working days after receipt of the Dean’s determination.

2. The Vice President shall conduct a review of the documents.  If the Vice-President needs additional information, s/he may meet with the student or other relevant witnesses.  S/he will consult with appropriate Deans, Vice Presidents, other relevant College administrators, and the College attorney, when necessary.   

3. Within ten (10) working days after the receipt of the student’s appeal, the Vice President will respond in writing to the student of his/her decision.  The student will sign and date the response of the Vice President to acknowledge receipt.

4. If the Vice President wishes to meet the student and the student elects to be advised by legal counsel during this meeting, s/he may do so at his/her expense, for advising purposes only, and the student must inform the Vice President 48 hours in advance of his/her decision to engage counsel.

5. If the student is not satisfied with the Vice President’s determination s/he may file an appeal, in writing, to the College President within five (5) working day after receipt of the Vice President’s determination.

6. The President will follow the same procedures as the Vice President and the decision of the President is final.

VII. Revisions the Student Code of Conduct

The Dean of Students will review the Student Code of Conduct on an annual basis.  Any changes will be reviewed with the MCC Student Government Association and the input of the MCCSGA will be taken into consideration.  Revisions will be approved by the MCC Academic Committee and the College’s Administrative Counsel will provide final approval.