Student Disciplinary Procedure
The student disciplinary procedure is the method by which allegations of a student’s violations of the conduct code are investigated and acted upon. The procedure ensures due process in all allegations, as well as avenues of appeal, if the student feels that an incorrect judgment has been made or that the student’s rights have been violated.
A student is defined as one who is, or at the time of the incident(s) leading to disciplinary action was, duly and legally registered as a student, either credit or noncredit, at RCC. A student is further defined as one for whom tuition or fees have been paid, credited, or waived.
A Disciplinary Action is an action taken by the College against a student for behaviors that are illegal or that violate College policies. Disciplinary actions may involve one or more of the following:
- Administrative reprimand or admonition.
- Referral to a community rehabilitation program (especially for alcohol or drug-related offenses).
- Payment by the student for property damages that may have occurred.
- Disciplinary Probation that may or may not be recorded on the student’s permanent record.
- Suspension from the college for some specified period of time.
- Dismissal from the college. Students who are dismissed must reapply to the college. Readmission is not assured.
Any member of the College community, including members of the faculty and the student body, may initiate disciplinary action. The complaint must be submitted to the dean of student development within ten (10) days of the alleged incident by using the Report of Student Misconduct Form.
Step One: The dean of student development will initiate an investigation of the alleged violation. If the dean of student development believes that the alleged violation presents an immediate danger to the college community, the issue will be immediately referred to the Threat Assessment Team. (Please see the Threat Assessment Process section.)
If the student is not referred to the Threat Assessment Team, the student will be contacted by the dean of student development (or designee) by student email and/or the postal service to schedule a meeting time to discuss the alleged violation. The student(s) charged will receive a written notice of the charge, with the published rules, regulations, and procedures (Student Handbook). The student shall appear before the dean of student development to discuss the nature and sources of the charges, the student’s rights and responsibilities, and to respond to the allegations. As a part of the review, the dean of student development (or his/her designee) will determine if the nature of the allegation/s justifies a sanction that affects the student’s right to an education.
If so, the alleged violation will be referred to the Student Conduct Committee (Step 2 below). If the nature of the allegation does not justify sanctions that would affect the student’s right to an education, the dean of student development has the options of imposing a disciplinary sanction, referring the matter to the Student Conduct committee, or dismissing the charges as unfounded. Within five working days of the meeting between the dean of student development and the student, the dean of student development (or his/her designee) will convey that decision to the student(s) involved in writing in person and through student email/postal service. If there is not sufficient evidence to continue the process, the disciplinary proceedings will stop at Step One. A record of this decision will be forwarded to the vice president of instruction and student affairs. Throughout the investigation, the student may continue to attend classes throughout the entire process; however the dean of student development may immediately suspend the student(s), pending the hearing, if there is reason to believe that a threat to the safety of individuals or to College property exists.
Administrative actions available to the dean of student development are as follows:
- Restitution for damages
- Exclusion from college extra-curricular activities
- Referral to the Threat Assessment Team
- Referral to the Student Conduct Board
A decision of the dean of student development (or his/her designee) may be appealed to the vice president of instruction and student affairs. The Vice President’s Appeal Form (link) must be completed and be received by the vice president’s office within five (5) business days after the decision of the dean of student development (or his or her designee). The vice president will review the written record and reach a determination. The decision of the vice president of instruction and student affairs is final.
Step Two: Charges that have not been dismissed or have not received a sanction from the dean of student development (or his/her designee) will be referred to the Student Conduct Board. Within five days after the dean of student development has informed the parties involved that the disciplinary procedure will continue, the dean will schedule a hearing for the student(s) with the Student Conduct Board (see Step Three). The dean of student development may immediately suspend the student(s), pending the hearing, if there is reason to believe that a threat to the safety of individuals or to College property exists. An informal opportunity to explain or defend their behavior will be allowed to the student(s) prior to such a suspension.
The student(s) may waive, in writing, the right to appear before a hearing committee, and allow the dean of student development to assign appropriate disciplinary action on his/her own judgment. In this case, Step Three in the disciplinary procedure is omitted.
Step Three: The Student Conduct Board shall conduct the hearing with a careful review of the facts concerning the alleged offense(s). The Student Conduct Board is composed of six (6) members from the college community for each campus: one (1) teaching faculty member and an alternate; one (1) student development staff member and an alternate, and one (1) student and an alternate, who may be from any recognized student organization or a student trained to hear conduct cases. The role of the Student Conduct Board is to hear student conduct cases including those involving academic dishonesty.
The dean of student development will act as a resource individual for the committee.
The following procedure will be followed:
1. Within five (5) business days of the recommendation of a hearing by the dean of student development (or designee), the student will be sent written notification of the charges and student rights. The written notification will be sent to the student’s Rappahannock Community College email account.
2. From the date the notification is emailed to the student’s RCC email address, the student will have five (5) business days to respond to the charges.
3. A date for the hearing will be scheduled and reported in writing to the student within ten (10) business days of receipt of the student’s response or the end of the period given for the student to respo0nd. The hearing date will be no more than thirty (30) calendar days from the date the hearing notification is emailed. This period may be extended under reasonable circumstances at the discretion of the dean of student development (or designee).
4. The hearing will be held whether or not the student responds and/or is present.
5. If the student is unable to make the hearing date for good cause, he/she should contact the Chair of the Student Conduct Board within five (5) business days of receiving the hearing notification to reschedule the hearing.
6. In the event a member of the Student Conduct Board is unable to attend, the Student Conduct Board Chair may make select a substitute.
7. The accused student has the right to:
a. question witnesses and or those who initiated the disciplinary action;
b. call other witnesses who have relevant information; and
c. consult counsel (not at College expense) or an advisor who may come from with or outside the institution. Counsel may be present at the hearing and may advise the student during the hearing, but will not be allowed to address the committee.
8. The hearing will begin no later than five minutes after the appointed time, with or without the student and his or her counsel president, as long as quorum of college representatives is present.
9. A transcript will be kept of the proceedings. Written transcripts will be retained in the office of the dean of student development for five years. Electronic copies and the conduct log are stored indefinitely.
10. The following format will be followed:
a. The committee chair will state the purpose;
b. All persons present will introduce themselves.
c. The committee chair will present the charge/s.
d. The committee chair will present possible sanctions.
e. The committee chair will ask involved members of the college to speak.
f. The student may ask questions of speakers after all have presented their case.
g. The committee may ask questions of the speakers.
h. The student will be asked to speak.
i. The committee may ask questions of the student or college representatives.
j. All parties except the Student Conduct Board will be excused so the committee can discuss the case in private.
k. A vote will be taken of the Student Conduct Board members. The chair is a voting member. A decision will be made by simple majority vote.
l. Written recommendation/s will be made by the Student Conduct Board to the dean of student development
m. Within five (5) business days of receipt of the committee’s recommendation/s, the dean of student development (or designee) shall act on the recommendations and provide written notification via RCC email to the student and the Student Conduct Board of the decision.
n. Findings of the Student Conduct Board may be appealed to the vice president of instruction and student affairs. The Vice President Appeal – Student conduct Form must be completed and be received by the vice president’s office within five (5) business days after the student is notified of the committee’s decision. The vice president will review the written record and reach a determination.
o. The decision of the vice president of instruction and student affairs is final. There are no further appeals in student conduct cases.
p. The student will be allowed to continue with the class/es until the decision is finalized. However, if no decision is made by the end of the academic semester, an interim grade of “I” (incomplete) will be issued. Once a Student Conduct Board is made and the student is suspended, dismissed, expelled, or fails the course/es then the student is not allowed to continue to attend class/es unless appealing to the vice president for instruction and student affairs.
Disciplinary sanctions available to the Student Conduct Board are listed below:
- Warning: Notice, in writing, that continuation or repetition of conduct found wrongful, within a period of time stated in the warning, may cause more severe disciplinary action;
- Exclusion from college extra-curricular activities
- Suspension: Exclusion from classes and other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice for a definite period of time not to exceed two years;
- Expulsion: Termination of student status for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if any, shall be stated in the order of expulsion; or
- Return of the student to former status.
All decisions of the Student Conduct Board will be reviewed by the dean of student development (or his/her designee) prior to submission of the final report of the Committee. If there is a need to revisit the sanctions imposed, the Student Conduct Board Chair will ask for a voice vote by email notification.
Step Four: The dean of student development will take appropriate disciplinary action, informing all concerned parties in writing. See Disciplinary Actions above. The parents or guardian of any student under 18 years of age who is dismissed, suspended, or placed on disciplinary probation will be notified of the action taken.
Appeals Procedure for Sanction by the Student Conduct Board
A decision of the Student Conduct Board on student misconduct may be appealed to the vice president of instruction and student affairs. The Vice President Appeal – Student Conduct Committee Form must be completed and be received by the vice president’s office within five (5) business days after notification of the Student Conduct Board’s decision from the dean of student development (or his/her designee). The vice president will review the written record and reach a determination. The decision of the vice president of instruction and student affairs is final.
Failure to appeal within time limit – If there is no written mutual agreement to extend the time limit here specified, the conduct matter shall be deemed settled on the basis of the last decision rendered provided the decision is within the authority of the parties.
Extension of time –Every effort shall be made by all parties to expedite the process. The time limitations specified herein may be extended by written mutual agreement.
Students who wish to file a complaint are expected to follow the Student Grievance Process for Academic and Non-Academic Decisions as outlined above. As a last resort, students may file a formal complaint with the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV). Detailed information about SCHEV’s formal student complaint procedure, the types of complaints they will not address, or to file a written “Student Complaint Form” with the agency can be found on the SCHEV Student Complaint website at http://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/resources/student-complaints/student-complaint-form.
Last modified on 12-05-2016