Student Code of Conduct Policy

Steward
Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs
Category
Student policies
Effective date
August 6, 2010
Last content update
September 29, 2022

Purpose

The Minnesota State Community and Technical College Student Code of Conduct has been adopted to support the development and well-being of all members of the College community. The Student Code of Conduct is designed to ensure that students receive all due process rights when adjudicating potential violations.

It is the College’s goal that, students engaged in the conduct process, will leave that process as better-educated students, better members of the College community, and better global citizens.

Definitions

Student

Includes all persons who:

  • Are enrolled in one or more courses, either credit or non-credit, through the College
  • Withdraw, transfer or graduate, after an alleged violation of the student Conduct Code
  • Are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the College
  • Have been notified of their acceptance for admission or have initiated the process of application for admission or financial aid

Respondent

A student who has been alleged to have violated one or more of the Student Code of Conduct policies.

Complainant

A party that has reported a concern and/or potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct to Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Conduct Officer

Any member or affiliate of the Minnesota State Community and Technical College faculty/staff who has been designated to investigate and adjudicate alleged violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct.

Appeal Officer

The Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs or designee who is responsible for reviewing a Student Conduct Appeal.

Business Days

Any day that Minnesota State Community and Technical College is open. Typically speaking, Minnesota State Community and Technical College is open between 8:00AM CST and 4:30PM CST Monday through Friday. Minnesota State Community and Technical College is considered to be closed on nights and weekends. Days that the College is unexpectedly closed (i.e., due to inclement weather) these will not be considered business days.

Expulsion

Permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment at that College or university.

Hazing

An act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person, subjects a person to humiliation or ridicule, or which destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a student group, organization, or athletic team.

Preponderance of Evidence

A standard of responsibility that it is more likely than not that the code has been violated.

Summary Suspension

A temporary suspension imposed without a formal hearing to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College or university community.

Suspension

Denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-enrollment may be specified.

Policy

Jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct applies to all students who are on one of the Minnesota State Community and Technical College Campuses or are participating in an off-campus Minnesota State Community and Technical College sanctioned event/activity.

The Student Code of Conduct may also apply to students who are not currently enrolled but are planning to be enrolled for the next semester. This includes students who may be on campus during the summer semester and/or winter break.

Student Rights in the Conduct Processes

Right to an Advisor

  • Students participating in the Student Conduct process are permitted to have an advisor at any meeting relevant to the Student Conduct process.
  • Advisors may not directly participate in the hearing; however, they are permitted to provide guidance/counsel to the student.
  • Students participating in the Student Conduct process are responsible for any fees charged by the advisor. Minnesota State Community and Technical College will not pay for student’s advisor.

Right to Know

  • Students will be informed in writing, prior to a Student Conduct hearing, of any alleged charges. Charges may be altered, changed, or removed during a hearing.
  • Students will be informed of the alleged conduct that violated the Student Code of Conduct, in summary form. The anonymity of involved individuals is not guaranteed but will be protected.

Right to Participate

  • Respondents will be permitted to participate in the Student Conduct Hearing.
  • Respondents will be permitted to represent themselves in a Student Conduct hearing.

Right to Not Discuss or Not Participate

  • Students are not required to participate in the Student Conduct process, however failure to participate in the Student Conduct process may result in the process moving forward without input from the alleged student (“in absentia”).
  • Students may stop participation in the Student Conduct process at any time and are not required to attend Student Conduct meetings/ hearings. Reasonable attempts to invite the student to participate/attend will be made by the assigned Student Conduct officer.
Student Conduct Policies

Abuse of the Student Conduct Process

Abuse of the Student Conduct Process, including but not limited to:

  • Knowingly falsifying, misrepresenting, or distorting information involved/ related to the Student Conduct process.
  • Disrupting and/or interfering with a Student Conduct process/procedure.
  • Filing frivolous or knowingly false reports.
  • Attempting to intimidate and/or influence individuals involved with the Student Conduct process.

Alcohol

  • The use, possession, manufacturing, selling or distribution of alcoholic products is prohibited on campus, except as expressly permitted by law and College regulations. Individuals under the age of 21 years of age are not permitted to possess alcohol in the State of Minnesota.
  • Information about the Alcohol and Drug Free Environment policy can be found at www.minnesota.edu/about/policies-and-procedures/alcohol-and-drug-free-environment-policy

Animals/Pets

  • Animals/pets are not permitted in College buildings.
  • Service animals and emotional support animals are permitted in College buildings however they must be registered with the Accessibility Resources Office prior to their arrival to campus.
  • Information about the Animals on Campus policy can be found at www.minnesota.edu/about/policies-and-procedures/animals-campus-policy

College Disruption

Students are not permitted to engage in acts that disrupt normal College business. Examples of disruptions include but are not limited to:

  • Obstructing, impeding, or otherwise blocking normal traffic pattern (i.e., doorways, hallways, sidewalks, and roads).
  • Creating loud noises through yelling/screaming, stereo equipment, bullhorns, etc.
  • Participating in protests, sit-ins, or demonstrations at times and/or locations where this is not permitted.
  • Participation in on campus demonstration(s) that disrupts the normal operations of the College and infringes on the rights of other members of the College community.
  • Leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities of any campus building or area.
  • Interfering with an instructor’s ability to teach class.

Information about the Disruption Free Learning Environment policy can be found at www.minnesota.edu/about/policies-and-procedures/disruption-free-learning-environment-policy 

College Rules

Violation of any College rule, regulation, or policy published in writing or electronically is prohibited.

Computer Misuse

Violation of Minnesota State Board Policy and Procedure 5.22 and 5.22.1 on Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources.

Examples of violations include but are not limited to:

  • Unauthorized installation of software or unauthorized entry into a file to use, read or change the contents or for any other purpose.
  • Unauthorized transfer and/or download of a file.
  • Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification or password.
  • Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student or College employee.
  • Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages.
  • Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the College computing system.
  • Use of campus technologies that would constitute a violation under Minnesota State Board Policies and College Acceptable Use of Information Technology Policies.

Information about the Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources policy can be found at www.minnesota.edu/about/policies-and-procedures/acceptable-use-computers-and-information-technology-resources-policy

Drug Paraphernalia

Students are not permitted to possess drug paraphernalia on the College campus. Examples of drug paraphernalia includes but is not limited to items designed to consume/use illegal drugs:

  • Pipes
  • Water pipes
  • Roach clips
  • Chillums
  • Bongs
  • Any other item used to consume/use drugs with residue or signs of use

Drugs

Prescription Drug Misuse

The misuse, possession, selling or distribution of prescription drugs, as defined by local, state, and/or federal law is prohibited on campus. The use of medicinal cannabis is prohibited on campus.

Failure to Comply

  • Failure to comply with directions given by a College employee acting within their assigned duties.
  • Failure to identify oneself to College official(s) and/or law enforcement when requested and while on campus.
  • Failure to complete sanctions assigned via the Student Conduct process.

Falsification

  • Willfully providing College offices or employees with false, misleading, or incomplete information.
  • Intentionally making false reports of a bomb, fire, natural disaster, or other emergency to a College official or an emergency service agency.
  • Misusing, altering, forging, or falsifying a College issued identification.
  • Forging or altering official College documents or processes without appropriate authorization.
  • Falsely claiming to represent the College or a student organization of the College. 

Fire Safety

  • Intentionally or recklessly activating a fire alarm without cause.
  • Damaging and/or tampering with fire safety equipment.
  • Engaging in other unapproved/prohibited behavior that may cause fire safety concerns.
  • Students are required to vacate a College building during an emergency evacuation and/or drill.

Gambling

Gambling for money or other items of value on campus or at College-sponsored events is prohibited except as expressly permitted by the College and law.

Harassment

  • Intentionally engaging in a course of conduct that serves no legitimate purpose and would seriously terrify, threaten, or intimidate a reasonable person.
  • Harassing another person due to their status as a member of a protected class in a manner that is so severe, persistent, or pervasive as to limit or deny a reasonable person’s ability to participate or benefit from the College’s programs, activities, or employment.
  • Information about the Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education Opportunities: Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigation and Resolution Procedure can be found at www.minnesota.edu/about/policies-and-procedures/nondiscrimination-employment-and-education-opportunities

Hazing

Engaging in act(s) or creating situations that intentionally or recklessly endanger the physical or mental health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation.

Examples of hazing activities include but are not limited to:

  • Paddling
  • Branding
  • Beating
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Food and water deprivation
  • Sexual penetration or sexual touching
  • Prolonged exposure to the elements
  • Leaving a student in a remote location without a means of return
  • Prolonged calisthenics
  • Forced (or perceived to be forced) consumption of food, drink, or any other item
  • Permission or approval from the student(s) being hazed is not a defense to hazing.

Housing Policies

Violation of any published or posted Campus Life and Housing policy as a resident or visitor of the Fergus Falls campus.

Keys/ID Cards/FOBs

Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of College issued key(s), ID card(s), and/or FOB(s).

Noxious Odor

A noxious odor is any smell of such intensity that it becomes apparent to others when it is too strong. Some examples are smoke from cigarettes, marijuana, cigars, pipes; perfume; air freshener; dirty laundry, garbage (this list is not exhaustive). When the source of a noxious odor can be traced to a particular room, the occupants of that room may be subject to disciplinary action.

Physical Abuse

  • Intentionally, recklessly, or negligently causing physical harm and/or mental duress.
  • Causing any person(s) to be in fear of physical danger through verbal abuse, defamation, harassment, hazing, and/or intimidation.
  • Physically assaulting another person, including but not limited to: fighting, hitting/punching, kicking, biting, other activities or actions designed to cause physical harm to another person.

Property Destruction

Unauthorized destruction and/or damage of personal, College, state, and/or other property.

Retaliation

  • Retaliation against any other student, staff, faculty, and/or community member who reports alleged student conduct violations.
  • Retaliation against any other student, staff, faculty, and/or community member who participates in student conduct proceedings.
  • Retaliation against any College employee who enforces or participates in the enforcement of College policies and procedures.

Sexual Misconduct/Harassment

Sexual misconduct/ harassment is prohibited on any of the College campuses. Students are encouraged to report any instance(s) of sexual misconduct/harassment/violence as soon as possible to the Minnesota State Community and Technical College Compliance Officer. Instances of alleged sexual misconduct are subject to the resolution procedures provided in Minnesota State system Board Policy.

Sports/Physical Activities

Running, hacky sack, frisbee throwing, hockey, in-line skating, skate boarding, rip-sticking, bouncing balls, riding bikes, and other athletic/sport-type activities are prohibited in campus buildings, except where expressly permitted (i.e., gyms, recreation rooms, etc.).

Remote Controlled Devices

Remote-controlled devices are not to be operated in Minnesota State Community and Technical College hallways and/or on College property without expressed permission from a College employee. Remote controlled devices include but is not limited to drones, remote controlled cars, and other similar devices.

Intimidation and/or Terroristic Threats

  • Threatening another person with physical or mental harm.
  • Threatening to commit an act of violence with the purpose of terrorizing another person(s).

Restraining

Restraining another person unless it can be demonstrated that it was necessary to protect the restrained person or the safety of other person(s).

Theft

Unauthorized taking/possession/sale of property belonging to the College or a member of the College community or a campus guest.

Tobacco Use/Vaping

Unauthorized Entry

  • Unauthorized individuals are not allowed on the roof, overhangs, or awnings of any College building.
  • Unauthorized occupation and/or entry into any College room or space is prohibited.

Violation of Law

Violation of any federal, state or local law.

Voyeurism

Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make or send a recording of any person while on College property or attending a College sponsored event without their prior knowledge, or without their affirmative consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes but is not limited to, knowingly taking pictures of another person in a fitness center, gym, locker room, restroom, or any other place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. Other violations may include the sending of obscene, lewd, or indecent images to another person.

Weapons/Firearms/Dangerous Chemicals

Weapons are not permitted on the Minnesota State Community and Technical College campuses, at College sanctioned events, and/or in College associated residence halls, except where explicitly permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, firearms, ammunition, explosives, tear gas, large knives, pellet guns, wrist rockets, catapults, dart guns, and other devices that propel objects through the air such as airsoft or Nerf guns. Recreational weapons such as, but not limited to, sling shots, electronic stun guns, pellet guns, air soft guns, water guns, etc., are not permitted on campus or in the residence halls. Objects that are used in the martial arts, such as nunchucks, throwing stars, and bolas, and those used in hunting, such as bows and arrows, are not permitted on campus or in the residence halls. Students who use an object in the form of a weapon to injure someone may be subject to disciplinary action. Campus Security, Residence Life staff, and/or the local police department may search a room if there is reason to believe a weapon is in the room. The only exception to this policy is legal chemical dispensing devices, such as pepper sprays, that are sold commercially for personal protection.

Exemption for Seeking Emergency Assistance – Alcohol/Drugs

Students are encouraged to seek emergency help for themselves or for others if they have been using alcohol and/or other drugs and are experiencing a medical emergency. Medical emergencies include but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Loss of function (i.e., unable to walk, talk, breathe and/or remain conscious)
  • Seizures
  • Severe bleeding
  • Vomiting
  • Other life-threatening conditions

Students should immediately contact local emergency services by calling 911 and alerting Minnesota State Community and Technical College staff/faculty.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College will not take disciplinary action against a student who contacts emergency services while using and/or possession alcohol or other drugs, provided the use/possession of said items was part of the alleged incident.

Students involved in the care of another person needing emergency assistance may also qualify for this exemption.

The conduct officer will determine a student’s eligibility for this exemption. Student(s) may still be charged by law enforcement officials for violations of federal, state, and/or local laws. Additionally, this policy is not meant to excuse the involved student(s) from other violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

Students that qualify for this exemption will still be required to meet with a conduct officer and may be required to complete an alcohol and/or drug education program.

Responses to Violations of the Code of Conduct

Written Warning

Written notice that a student has violated one or more of the Student Conduct Code of Conduct policies. Future violations of the Student Code of Conduct may result in further disciplinary action(s).

Probation

Disciplinary status with Minnesota State Community and Technical College for a determined amount of time. Probationary status may affect a student’s membership in student organizations and may affect a student’s ability to work an on-campus job.

Loss of Privileges

Loss of privilege(s) to engage or participate in any activity or experience not required to satisfy graduation requirements. Including but not limited to:

  • Campus recreation room privileges
  • Campus and/or Student Life event attendance
  • Use of on campus internet access and/or computers
  • Use of campus dining facilities
  • Access to campus and/or specific campus locations

Restitution

Requirement to return money or property that has been wrongfully taken.

Community Service

Work assignments, service to the College, and/or other related discretionary sanctions.

Confiscation

Items used or possessed in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, including but not limited to falsified information and/or identification, will be confiscated by a College employee and may not be subject to return.

Educational Program

Required education course(s) and/or assignments specifically related to the violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct. Student(s) are responsible for any cost(s) associated with an educational program. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Substance use evaluation(s)
  • Presentation(s) and/or written assignment(s)
  • Online or in-person education course(s)
  • Event attendance

Employment Restrictions

Prohibition and/or limitation of student employment with Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Revocation of Admission and/or Degree

Revocation of a degree for fraud, misrepresentation, and/or violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct that may have resulted in suspension or expulsion.

Withholding of Degree

Withholding the awarding of a degree pending the completion of Student Conduct procedures and/or response(s).

No Contact

  • No contact or communication (directly or indirectly) with a specified individual or group of individuals for a specified period of time.
  • No contact sanctions may also be imposed indefinitely.

Trespass

Prohibition from campus or property of Minnesota State Community and Technical College. This includes all College buildings, grounds, parking lots, roads, and walkways. Entry after a trespass sanction has been determined may result in criminal trespass pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 609.605 and/or interference with the use of public property pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 624.72.

Loss of Status – Student Organization

  • Temporary or permanent loss of recognition from Minnesota State Community and Technical College.
  • Additional requirements for Student Organizations with a temporary loss of status may be imposed prior to re-gaining recognized status.

Housing Relocation

Mandatory room assignment change for a specified date and a specified amount of time.

Suspension from On-Campus Housing

Temporary removal and trespass from on-campus housing for a specified amount of time.

Expulsion from On-Campus Housing

Permanent removal and trespass from on-campus housing.

Suspension

  • Temporary separation from Minnesota State Community and Technical College for a specified amount of time. Suspended students may not attend and/or register for classes, live in on campus housing, or participate in/attend any Minnesota State Community and Technical College sponsored events.
  • Additional requirements may be imposed at the end of the suspension period by Minnesota State Community and Technical College as a condition of re-admittance.

Expulsion

  • Permanent separation from Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Expelled students may not attend and/or register for classes, live in on campus housing, or participate in/attend any Minnesota State Community and Technical College sponsored events.
  • Expelled students may appeal to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs after seven calendar years to be re-admitted.  
Summary Suspension
  • A suspension is imposed without a formal hearing to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community.
  • After the student has been summarily suspended, the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs or designee must provide the opportunity for a conduct hearing within the shortest reasonable time, not to exceed nine business days from the date the student received written notification of the summary suspension.
  • During the summary suspension, the student may not be on College property without obtaining prior written authorization from the VP of Academic and Student Affairs or designee.
Enforcement of Standards

In the event Minnesota State Community and Technical College receives a written or verbal report of a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct one or more Conduct Officers may begin an initial investigation to determine the likelihood of a violation.

  • Based on the initial investigation, if it is determined that there was likely not a violation of the Code of Conduct or if it is determined there is not enough information available to move forward, the Student Conduct process will not proceed. All report(s) and record(s) will be maintained as appropriate. Previous report(s) and record(s) may be used in future investigations and student conduct processes.
  • Based on the initial investigation, if it is determined that there was likely a violation of the Student Code of Conduct the Conduct Officer will either continue the investigation and/or may begin the Student Conduct hearing process.

Student Conduct Hearing

A Student Conduct hearing is conducted by a Conduct Officer and involves meeting with the involved parties and determining a sanction, if appropriate.

Written Notice

  • The Conduct Officer will provide written notice to the alleged student(s) that a report has been received which alleges one or more violations of the Student Code of Conduct. This notice shall be sent to the student’s institutional e-mail and/or to the mailing address on file with Minnesota State Community and Technical College.
  • The written notice will include the following:
  1. Specific alleged violation(s) and the date the alleged violation(s) occurred.
  2. A summary of the alleged event(s) and violation(s).
  3. A statement of the student rights in the Student Conduct process.
  4. The date, time, and location of the Student Conduct hearing or request to schedule a Student Conduct hearing.
  • The written notice will be sent to the responding student(s) within a reasonable period of time of the alleged violation determination (typically within 10 business days).
  • The written notice shall be sent no sooner than three business days prior to the scheduled hearing. If the respondent would like to meet with the Conduct Officer before three business days, they may request to do so in writing to the Conduct Officer.

Student Conduct Hearing

  • Student Conduct hearings may take place in-person or via electronic communication (i.e., teleconferencing software, telephone(s), etc.)
  • The personal safety and well-being of all involved parties will be accommodated for, as needed, using barriers, separate facilities, teleconferencing technology and/or other means of preventing direct in person contact. Campus security and/or local law enforcement may also be invited to be a presence during any meeting or hearing relevant to the Student Conduct process.

Student Conduct Resolution

  • After the Conduct Officer has met with or attempted to meet with the involved parties and a resolution/outcome has been determined the Student Conduct Officer will create a written Student Conduct Resolution. The Student Conduct Resolution will be delivered to the respondent via email and/or print copy.
  • The alleged parties will have 10 business days to accept or appeal the Student Conduct Resolution. If the alleged parties fail to appeal the Student Conduct resolution within 10 business days, the Student Conduct Resolution will be deemed to be accepted.
  • If the proposed Student Conduct Resolution is appealed, the alleged parties will then be required to complete a student code of conduct appeal form.
Student Conduct Appeals
  • If a proposed Student Conduct Resolution is appealed, the respondent may submit an appeal via the Minnesota State Community and Technical College website within 10 business days. The appeal process will not move forward until the respondent has completed and submitted the appropriate appeal form.
  • A link to the online appeal form and/or web address will be provided when a proposed Student Conduct Resolution is delivered.
  • After an appeal has been submitted all sanctions may be temporarily suspended pending the appeal decision, with the exception of a summary suspension.

Student Conduct Appeals Process

  • If a respondent submits a Student Conduct Appeal, the case will then be reviewed by the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs or their designee. This person will be known as the Appeals Officer.
  • The Appeals Officer has the authority to review any materials, notes, and/or other information associated with the Student Conduct case. The Appeals Officer may also request to meet with the complainant, respondent, Student Conduct officer, and/or any other person(s) associated with the Student Conduct case.
  • The Appeals Officer has the authority to uphold, reject, or alter the decision made by the Student Conduct Officer.
  • After reviewing all materials and making a final decision, the Appeals Officer will provide a written decision to both the Respondent and the Student Conduct Officer.

In cases involving sanctions of suspension for 10 days or longer, students have a right to a contested case hearing under Minn. St. Ch.14.   Students invoke a Ch. 14 hearing by notifying the Student Conduct Officer within 10 business days of the decision on their appeal.

Interpretation
  • The words in the Minnesota State Community and Technical College Code of Conduct should be given their ordinary meaning unless the context indicates that a different meaning was intended.
  • Any questions of interpretation or application of the Minnesota State Community and Technical College Code of Conduct should be referred to the Dean of Students or their designee.
Notification and Maintenance of Records

The Minnesota State Community and Technical College Code of Conduct shall be reviewed at least every four (4) years. Review(s) may occur more frequently on an as needed basis.

Associated Policies and Procedures

Minnesota State system Board Policy 1B.1 Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education

Minnesota State system Board Policy 1B.1.1 Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigation and Resolution

Minnesota State system Board Policy 1B.3 Sexual Violence Policy

Minnesota State system Board Policy 1B.3.1 Response to Sexual Violence and Title IX Sexual Harassment

Minnesota State system Board Policy 5.22 Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources

Minnesota State system Board Procedure 5.22.1 Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources Policy

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Alcohol and Drug Free Environment Policy

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Animals on Campus Policy

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Disruption Free Learning Environment Policy

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education Opportunities: Report/ Complaint of Discrimination/ Harassment Investigation and Resolution Procedure

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Tobacco-free Environment Policy

 

Next scheduled review
Policy author(s)
Shawn Anderson
Dave Roberts
Marcus Mergen

Revisions

DateDescription of Change

Updated language to be more accessible/understandable by students and revised the Student Conduct Code hearing procedures to reflect the College’s current process.

Reviewed and updated relevant content.