Crest for Policies

Policy N5
Policy Name: Student Code of Conduct
Responsibility for Maintenance: Student Engagement & Learning Support; Campus Safety & Security

Date of most recent changes: June 20, 2017

I. Policy Statement

Aligned with the College’s Principles of Community, the Student Code of Conduct is designed to convey expectations of students’ behavior as members of the college community. The code was created to respect the dignity and diversity of others in the educational process. All members of the College community enjoy the rights that are guaranteed to them by federal and state laws, and must assume the responsibilities implied by these rights.

Students are expected to comply with all policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and directives of Onondaga Community College and/or its affiliated organizations, including but not limited to those policies set forth in the College’s Centralized Policy Manual, and the Keys to Residence Hall Living, and the College Catalog.

II. Reason for Policy

Through the disciplinary process, students learn the importance of accepting personal responsibility for behaviors that violate community standards. Procedures used to enforce standards contribute to teaching appropriate individual and group behaviors as well as protecting the rights of individuals and the campus community from disruption and/or harm.

III. Applicability of the Policy

All members of the College community should be familiar with this policy. This policy governs the conduct of students in or on College facilities. Students and OCC employees and employees of the College’s affiliated organizations are to cooperate fully with the disciplinary process. This policy shall also apply to conduct in other locations that adversely affect one or more members of the College community and/or the pursuit of the College’s objectives. Each student is responsible for his/her conduct from the time of initial enrollment through the actual awarding of a degree.

IV. Related Materials

  • Onondaga Community College Website
  • Onondaga Community College Centralized Policy Manual
  • Residence Life Keys to Residence Hall Living Handbook
  • College Catalog
  • NYS Education Law, Article 129-A
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, and accompanying regulations of the U.S. Department of Education (collectively, “FERPA”)

V. Contacts

Subject Office Name Title or Position Telephone Number Email/URL
Questions Regarding Student Conduct Student Conduct and Community Standards Assistant Director  (315) 498-2446
Questions Regarding Student Conduct Student Conduct and Community Standards Coordinator(315) 498-2444 
Questions Regarding Student Conduct Student Engagement and Learning Support Associate Vice President (315) 498-2119
Reporting Alleged Violations Campus Safety and Security Director  (315) 498-2478

VI. Definitions

Term Definition
Hearing Officer

The Hearing Officer is charged with ensuring that the requirements of the policy are followed. He/She:

  1. Supervises and facilitates residence life violations until case conclusion
  2. Conducts interviews
  3. Completes notices and summaries
  4. Communicates appropriate sanctions

Persons eligible to serve: Residence Hall Directors

Administrative Officer The Administrative Officer is charged with ensuring that the requirements of the policy are followed. He/she:
1. Supervises the case from start to conclusion
2. Identifies necessary preliminary procedures
3. Conducts interviews and/or hearings
4. Completes notices and summaries
5. Provides instruction and correction in procedural matters
6. Establishes or assists in establishing appropriate sanctions for the Student Disciplinary Committee
7. Facilitates Student Disciplinary Committee hearings

8. Prepares a case for appeal, if applicable

Persons eligible to serve as Administrative Officers include: Associate Vice President of Student Engagement and Learning Support, Student Conduct Coordinator, Director of Residence Life.

Bias Bias is behavior which constitutes an expression of hostility, including but not limited to verbal or physical hostility against the person or property of another that is actually or perceived to be based on the person's age, creed, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, political or social affiliation, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Affirmative Consent Affirmative Consent: Affirmative consent is a clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed, and voluntary agreement between all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive. Silence or lack of resistance cannot be interpreted as consent. Seeking and having consent accepted is the responsibility of the person(s) initiating each specific sexual act regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Consent to any sexual act or prior sexual activity between or with any party does not constitute consent to any other sexual act. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn or cannot be given, sexual activity must stop. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated. Incapacitation occurs when an individual lacks the ability to fully, knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation can include impairment due to drugs or alcohol (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary), the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, if any of the parties is under the age of 17, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
College Official/Employee Includes all College employees, including Campus Safety and Security officers, faculty, staff and administration, who are acting on behalf of the College. Also includes employees of Onondaga Community College Housing Development Corporation (OCCHDC), Onondaga Community College Association (OCCA), and employees of Vendors/Contractors acting within the scope of their contracted services to the College.
College Facilities Includes all land, buildings and property owned, operated, or controlled by the College and/or its affiliated organizations and/or Vendors/Contractors for College purposes. This term includes but is not limited to the Residence Halls, OCC North Site, JOBSplus! and other locations where Onondaga Community College courses, programs, or services are offered.
Hazing An intentional or reckless act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, 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 group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of College Policy.
Minor Any person who is under the age of 18.
Parent A parent of a student which includes a natural parent, an adoptive parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.
Student Includes all persons enrolled in or auditing courses, either full-time or part-time, from the time of initial enrollment through the actual awarding of a degree, including the time before classes begin, during the academic year, after classes end, and during periods between terms of actual enrollment.
Student Disciplinary Committee (SDC)/Peer Review Board (PRB) Members of the Student Disciplinary Committee and the Peer Review Board include campus administrators, faculty, staff and students trained in the student conduct process and appointed pursuant to a procedure established by the College.
Vendors/Contractors Includes but is not limited to the bookstore, campus catering and food service, vending, and other persons in or on College Facilities with the permission of the College for the purpose of providing goods and/or services.

VII. General Provisions

Students are members of the College community and are expected to act responsibly and not interfere with the rights, comfort or safety of other members of the College community. The following behaviors are prohibited and violations may lead to disciplinary sanctions:

A. General Violations

1. Any conduct which threatens or endangers the physical health and safety of any person.

2. Any conduct which threatens or endangers the emotional health and safety of any person which may include:

  • Coercion: To compel in a manner that the person feels there is no other choice but to comply.
  • Intimidation: Implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another.
  • Threats: Verbal or written conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property.
  • Bullying and Cyberbullying: Repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that intimidate or intentionally harm or control another person physically or emotionally,conduct that targets one or more individuals and results in physical harm, emotional distress, or a breach of the peace.

3. Weapons: Violating the College’s policy on the use and possession of weapons on campus – Policy D9 Possession, Storage and Use of Weapons on Campus.

4. Deliberate damage to or destruction of property or services owned by any party.

5. Engaging in hate, bias or bias-related behaviors that are actually or are perceived to be based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and/or any other protected category.

6. Hazing: Any activity expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.

7. Misrepresenting one’s identity.

8. Physical Abuse: Pain or injury resulting from physical contact by another person or object.

9. Physically restraining or detaining another person or forcibly removing a person from a place where he or she has a right to remain.

10. Use of social media or other technology to defame, trespass, assault or inflict emotional distress upon another person or that is otherwise illegal (cyber-harassment, sexting).

B. Stalking-Intentionally engaging in a course of conduct, directed at a specific person, which is likely to cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or cause that person to suffer substantial emotional damage is prohibited. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to: 

  • Repeatedly committing acts that alarm, cause fear, or seriously annoy other person(s).
  • Repeatedly communicating by any means, including electronic means, with such person(s) in a manner likely to intimidate, annoy, or alarm him or her and that serves no legitimate purpose.
  • Repeatedly following another person without his or her consent.
  • Contacting a person after being asked or ordered not to contact the person.
  • Violating any provision of the New York State Stalking Law.

C. Physical, Verbal Endangerment and Domestic Violence-Any form of physical or verbal abuse is prohibited. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Physical violence or attempted physical violence toward another person or group.
  • Any verbal assault or abuse towards another person or group.
  • Threat of physical violence against another person or group.
  • Any action that endangers the health, safety or welfare of any member of the College community or visitors.
  • Domestic violence-any violent action committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, a person sharing a child with the victim, or a person cohabiting with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.

D. Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault/Dating Violence- Any form of sexual misconduct or harassment is prohibited. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Any physical sexual act perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving affirmative consent. Such acts include, but are not limited to, rape, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.
  • Conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for another person.This includes unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors,inappropriate sexual or gender-based activities, comments or gestures, or other forms of verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment.
  • Obscene or indecent behavior, which includes, but is not limited to, indecent exposure or the display of sexual behavior that would reasonably be offensive to others; disorderly, lewd,indecent, or obscene conduct or expression.

E. Classroom and Academic Violations

This includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Academic dishonesty in any form (refer to Academic Rules for definition and procedures relating to academic dishonesty).
  • Disrupting academic activities and environment.

F. Residential Living Violations

Residential Policies reflect the rights and responsibilities of all Onondaga Community College residence hall students. Among these are the right to be afforded a reasonable opportunity to learn without interruptions from others; the right to expect that others will respect you and your need for space, quiet, and privacy; and the right to expect others to observe reasonable standards of conduct that promote and maintain a safe, secure, and mature living environment. In addition, you have the responsibility to recognize and support other students' rights and to be aware of the Office of Residence Life Departmental Standards and Onondaga Community College Student Code of Conduct. Violation of these standards will result in meeting with the Residence Life staff and/or the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and may result in an educational and/or disciplinary sanction.

You can find a detailed list of Residential Policies on the Office of Residence Life website.

G. General Campus Policy Violations

1. Failure to present College identification when requested by any College official and/or officials of the College affiliated organizations.

2. Failure to comply with any official directive given by any authorized College Official, Employee and/or officials of the College affiliated organizations acting in the performance of their duties.

3. Impeding or obstructing an investigation or campus disciplinary procedure.

4. Non-compliance with any College Policy, including but not limited to:

*These statements relate directly to Policies contained in the Centralized Policy Manual. This list is not all inclusive. The College’s Centralized Policy Manual is available online at

H. Fire Safety Violations

1. Creating or contributing to a fire.

2. Failing to comply with fire drill, fire alarm and/or emergency evacuations or procedure.

3. Tampering with or damaging fire safety equipment including but not limited to fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarms, and sprinkler systems.

I. Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD)- Alcohol is prohibited on campus except in the case of approved events where the sale and service of alcohol is conducted by the College, an affiliated organization, or an approved contractor/vendor in accordance with New York State Law.

Prohibited behaviors involving alcohol:

  1. Alcohol Use, Sale/Distribution, and Possession.
  2. Paraphernalia: Use, display or possession of any paraphernalia associated with alcohol. 
  3. Impairment/Behavior: Use of alcohol that leads to impairment which causes disorderly, destructive, or violent behavior to self or community.

Prohibited Behaviors Involving Drugs:

1. Consumption, Under the Influence, Display, Sale/Distribution, Possession of unlawful controlled substances, and/or synthetic materials.

2. Drug Paraphernalia: Use, display or possession of any paraphernalia associated with unlawful drugs and/or controlled substances, or synthetic materials. This includes altered or constructed devices used to conceal or consume.

3. Look-alike Drugs: Possession, consumption, distribution, use of and/or forcing another to ingest “imitation drugs” or synthetic materials that are either not intended for human consumption or used to elicit effects similar to an illegal drug or a substance or drug being used for an unintended purpose (i.e. synthetic cannabis, herbal incense, and or herbal smoking blends, Whip-it and other similar products).

J. Non-Academic Dishonesty - Conveying information that the student knows or should know is false to the College or a member of the College Community, including at College Disciplinary Proceedings.

1. Furnishing false information to any College official, faculty member, employee or office;

2. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College or official document, record, or instrument of identification (e.g., driver’s licenses and passports);

3. Tampering with the election of any College recognized student organization.

K. False Reporting - A person is guilty of falsely reporting an incident when he or she conveys information known to be false or without basis to any College official, faculty member, or employee.

L. Conduct System - Abuse of the conduct System, including but not limited to:

1. Failure to obey the summons of a judicial body or College official;

2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a judicial body;

3. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a conduct proceeding;

4. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the conduct system;

5. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a judicial body prior to, and/or during the course of, the judicial proceeding;

6. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a judicial body prior to, during, and/or after a conduct proceeding;

7. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code;

8. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the conduct system.

M. Theft/Unauthorized Possession of Property

1. Attempted and/or actual theft of property or services owned by any party; knowingly purchasing or possessing stolen property or services.

2. Unauthorized possession of College property including residence hall furniture.

3. Burglary is entering into any space without authorization for the purpose of committing a crime.

4. Robbery is the act of taking property from another person by force or threat of force.

N. Trespass

1. Unauthorized entry into a College Facility; Remaining in a College Facility after it is closed.

2. Entering private or unauthorized locations; including but not limited to OCC employee offices or residence hall buildings, suites or rooms without permission.

O. Violation of Law**

1. Violation of any civil, municipal, state, or federal criminal law.

2. Violation of any policy, procedure, rule, regulation or directive of the College or any of its affiliated entities even if the specific conduct is not listed as a prohibited act in this policy.

** The College regards criminal conduct/civil offense as a violation of the policy regardless of whether the criminal violation/civil offense is pursued in a court of law. The College may, to the extent permitted by law, inform law enforcement agencies of alleged criminal violations and may elect, but is not obligated, to defer internal disciplinary action until prosecution of the criminal violation has been completed. Proceedings under this policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of the College. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this policy shall not be subject to change because criminal or civil charges arising out of the same facts were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the defendant.

P. Campus Community Violations

1. Disorderly conduct

  • Acting in a manner to annoy or alarm, which includes conduct that disrupts or interferes with the normal routine activities of teaching, communal living, and/or public peace.
  • Acting in a manner to annoy or alarm, which includes conduct that endangers personal well-being.
  • Acting in a manner to annoy or alarm, which includes conduct that causes a risk of/or physical harm to public or private property
  • Lewd, indecent, and/or obscene behavior.

2. Gambling: playing a game for stakes and/or monetary gain.

3. Littering: discarding refuse in public places in a location not properly assigned for such.

Q. Statement on Self-Reporting and Bystander Intervention (Good Samaritan)

Onondaga Community College students are expected to be aware of their health and safety and to be active bystanders who help fellow students when their health and safety is in danger. When a person’s health or safety is threatened due to consumption of alcohol, unlawful drugs, controlled substances and/or other synthetic materials immediate actions should be taken. This could include alerting medical personnel, Campus Safety and Security, or an appropriate college official. In all cases, the incident will be documented. When determining the appropriate response in the conduct process, Student Conduct will consider actions taken by any student who seeks assistance on their own behalf or the behalf of another student experiencing a medical emergency related to consumption of alcohol, unlawful drugs, controlled substances and/or other synthetic materials. In some cases disciplinary sanctions may be reduced. This practice does not preclude action by Campus Safety and Security or other legal authorities.

VIII. Questions

Any questions regarding interpretation or application of this policy shall be referred to the Senior Vice President of Student Engagement and Learning Support or his or her designee for final determination. He or she shall have complete discretionary authority to interpret or construe any uncertain or disputed term of the policy.

Approved by OCC Board of Trustees June 5, 2007

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees September 23, 2008

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 1, 2010

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees May 3, 2011

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 18, 2013

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 17, 2014

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 16, 2015

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 21, 2016

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 20, 2017