Onondaga Community College

Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards

Conduct Process & Procedures

2015-2016

Informal Resolution Process

When the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards receives a complaint that a student has allegedly violated the Student Code of Conduct, the office will contact the accused student(s) and request that they attend an informal resolution meeting with a hearing officer to discuss the allegations. If an accused student does not attend the meeting without prior notice to OSCCS, a decision may be rendered in the student's absence.

There are four (4) possible outcomes from an informal resolution meeting:

1. The student is found to have no responsibility and/or that there is insufficient basis to proceed against the student. If that occurs, the case does not proceed to a hearing 

2. The student does not accept responsibility and the hearing officer determines that the complaint warrants a hearing. If that occurs, the case proceeds to a hearing.

3. The student accepts responsibility and appropriate sanction(s) is agreed upon. If that occurs, the case is considered informally resolved 

4. The student accepts responsibility but the sanction(s) is/are not agreed upon. If that occurs, the student can appeal the sanction.

How to Prepare for an Informal Resolution Meeting

Thoroughly review the Student Code of Conduct to ensure that you are well aware of the Conduct Process and how you fit into that process.

Review the letter that was sent to you by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards that states the date and time of your meeting. If you are unable to attend, or anticipate being late, it is imperative that you call the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at (315) 498-2444 to reschedule. Failure to attend this meeting during the scheduled time without prior notice may result in a decision being rendered in your absence.

Arrive with an understanding that the intent of an informal resolution meeting is to allow yourself and the hearing officer to discuss the incident in which you were allegedly involved.

Although it is understandable that you may feel some stress prior to and during your informal resolution meeting, we ask that you always make an effort to be courteous and professional throughout the process. It is important to trust the Student Conduct System process and understand that the intent in resolving discipline matters is educational rather than punitive.

Additionally, if you believe that you need accommodations for a disability throughout this process, please contact the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR), 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Gordon Student Center, room G130 or (315) 498-2245. OAR is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations.

I. Disciplinary Process

A. Report: A report is filed with Campus Safety or the Office of Residence Life and depending on the violation is forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards. If the violation is solely the report is forwarded to Residence Life administrators with any suspected violation.

B. Investigation process begins: Once a student has been accused of a violation, the Administrative Officer seeks documentation, testimony and information that is relevant to the alleged violation. The Administrative Officer determines the relevance of information presented. Interview parties may include witnesses.

C. Notification: A student who is accused of a violation of the code will be informed via their official College email for their scheduled meeting or hearing. The email will inform the student of the response necessary, which may include attendance at a disciplinary meeting or hearing held by the College.

D. Outcome of case: Decisions are based on preponderance of evidence which means that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred based on the evidence and information that is presented. The assigned Administrative Officer, the Student Disciplinary Committee or Peer Review Board reviews available information, conducts a meeting or hearing and reaches a finding as to whether the person is responsible, not responsible, or if the information is unsubstantiated for committing the alleged violation.

E. Sanction: Educational and/or punitive consequence assigned to the student based on the violation imposed to help them take responsibility for their actions (See section XI for sanction descriptions)

II. Appeals- Appeals must be submitted by the Associate Vice President of Student Engagement and Learning Support within five (5) business days after the date of the written decision described in the paragraph above or, if the appeal is based on the discovery of “after acquired” information, within five (5) business days after the discovery of the information, but in no event later than 14 days after the date of the written decision. All appeals must be submitted in a written format. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities will be provided upon request, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and if the request is made within the five business day timeframe.

The student may appeal the written disciplinary meeting decision for the following reasons only:

1. A procedural error that unfairly and materially affected the outcome of the disciplinary hearing

2. “After acquired” information that is relevant to the alleged violation [information that was discovered only after the conclusion of the disciplinary meeting, could not reasonably have been discovered prior to or during the hearing, and which, if previously known, would have had a significant bearing on the outcome of the disciplinary hearing]

3. Clear abuse of discretion on the part of the Administrative Officer, the Student Disciplinary Committee or the Peer Review Board.

4. A sanction that is unreasonably severe in light of the offense(s) committed, The Associate Vice President of Student Engagement and Learning Support or his or her designee reviews the record of the disciplinary proceeding and renders a written response to the Student appeal within five (5) business days from the date the appeal is received. The appeal decision is final and binding.

III. Sanctions- The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards sanctions are official actions of the College. Failure to comply with sanctions that are imposed by the Student Conduct System, or with specific conditions related to the safety and security of any persons or property while a case is pending, may result in immediate, indefinite suspension or expulsion from the College. The focus and goal of the Student Code of Conduct and Office is to educate. Administrative Officers and hearing boards may design sanctions that are specific to an individual.

IV. College Status- Disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed include, but are not limited to, the following:

A. Disciplinary Warning- In instances of less serious violations from the Student Code of Conduct, the student (s) may be formally warned of the possible consequences of continuing such behavior. No other specific action is taken unless further misconduct occurs.

B. Disciplinary Probation- This sanction constitutes a change in status between good standing and possible suspension or expulsion from the College. Disciplinary Probation is also a status that may include loss of specified privileges associated with student status for the duration of the probation.

C. Interim Suspension- This sanction by the Associate Vice President of Student Engagement and Learning Support, or his or her designee is a temporary suspension of certain rights or privileges while a conduct case is pending. An interim suspension may be broad and inclusive or may be restricted to a specific location and/or function and is based on the determination that the safety and well-being of the College community or specific persons are at risk.

D. Suspension-College Suspension results in the separation of the Student from the College for a specified period of time. Suspension prohibits attendance at any classes, participation in any study abroad programs or internships arranged by the College during the suspension period. Suspension may involve restrictions and/or conditions on access to College property, buildings, or grounds as well as attendance at College sponsored events and functions, as deemed appropriate by the Administrative Officer or Student Disciplinary Committee. The Student may not register for and/or enroll in classes until s/he completes the stated period of suspension and meets any and all requirements for the period of suspension

E. Expulsion- College Expulsion results in permanent separation of the Student from the College, college-sponsored events and college owned properties and affiliates including but not limited to OCC Housing Development Corporation and OCCA.

V. Residential Status

A. Residential Warning- This status is a formal warning on behalf of the residential living program and is intended to warn the student about the consequences of continuing such behavior.

B. Residential Reprimand- This status is a formal admonition on behalf of the residential living program and is intended to clearly document in a student’s disciplinary file that student’s behavior has been deemed unacceptable.

C. Residential Probation- This status indicates that a student is no longer in good standing within the College’s residential living program. Further violations may result in the immediate loss of eligibility to live in or visit the College’s residence hall facilities or in more serious sanctions, as circumstances warrant.

D. Residential Relocation/Suspension/Expulsion- These statuses indicate that a student is not eligible to live in or visit some or all of the College’s residence hall facilities. A residential relocation involves the reassignment of a student's living unit within housing and usually prohibits the student from returning to the residential area associated with the former living assignment. A residential suspension or expulsion involves the student's removal from housing altogether. These statuses may extend for a specific period of time, until the completion of specific conditions, or permanently. These statuses may be limited to a specific facility or applied to all facilities.

VI. Educational Sanctions Educational sanctions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

A. Community Involvement Assignment- The Community Involvement Assignment is one of the many educational sanctions that the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards provides for students. This sanction includes a series of College community activities, events, and lectures designed to promote student engagement and life changing experiences. It is meant to be an opportunity for students to attend events on campus that they may not normally attend so as to expose them to involvement opportunities and/or learning experiences that may positively impact their time as a student at OCC. Students often mention that there is not anything to do on campus, and this sanction is proof that there are many “things” to do on campus. For information on events happening on campus visit

B. Formal Apology- The apology letters can be written to anyone on campus such as faculty, staff, students, etc. discussing how student’s behavior challenged those involved. The student should also reflect on how your behavior may have an impact on your role as a positive member of Onondaga Community College.

C. Behavioral Contracts- This contract serves as an agreement between the College and the student specifying the behavioral requirements to be followed while the student is enrolled at the College.

D. Referrals- Referrals will be utilized to counseling on or off campus in conjunction with the student conduct process if there is a concern about a student’s behavior along with their violation.

E. Community Service- Community Service provides student’s with the opportunity to give back to their community, not just the OCC community but also the Greater Syracuse community. Assignments are assigned by an Administrative Officer during their informal resolution meeting, and the student will need to complete a determined number of community service hours and write a reflective paper about their experience and may not be combined or in conjunction with any other volunteer or court ordered requirement. A student may not select his/her own site to complete a community service sanction and must provide the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards with proof that they completed the assigned number of unpaid community service hours.

F. Restitution- Restitution is applied for damages done or other payment for expenses incurred as a result of the Student’s actions. Restitution may be required to the College, a specific department of the College, an affiliate organization of the College, or a specific individual. The Office of Student Conduct will determine the amount that needs to be paid and the student is required to get a money order and bring it back to the Office of Student Conduct for payment.

G. Decision Making Workshop - Students are assigned to the Decision Making Workshop (DMW) by the Office of Student Conduct after exhibiting behaviors that indicate a lack of positive decisions or an inability to recognize decision-making opportunities. DMW is a 2 hour workshop where students will participate in dialogue and complete activities that will help build their decision-making skills. Students who are sanctioned to attend DMW will also be responsible for completing a reflection paper before this sanction is considered complete. Information about this assignment will be given to participants during the workshop.

H. Paper- Reflection papers may be assigned to help students learn from the choices they made and provide them an opportunity to detail how to make better decisions in the future. Research papers may also be assigned to encourage students to learn more about a specific topic. Page length and use of scholarly sources are determined by the Administrative or Hearing Officer. The paper must be completed and turned into the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards before the sanction is considered complete.

I. Time Management Assignment- For students who appear to be struggling in their ability to balance their academic responsibilities with other commitments, a time management assignment may be issued as a sanction. This project is designed to help students reflect on how they spend their time in an effort to help them identify successful strategies in the future. A worksheet and a reflection paper must be completed before this sanction is considered complete.

J. Stipulation - A stipulation can be attached to any code sanction. It is an agreement that any further violation within a specified probationary period regardless to the severity of the violation will result in more severe disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or expulsion from the College. A stipulation may also provide specific instructions a Student must follow.

VII. Standard Sanctions -Standard sanctions are intended to alert students and other members of the College community to the seriousness of alcohol and drug related behaviors, violence, and safety violations; provide meaningful consequences for violations of the College’s expectations; and, ensure that students are provided opportunities to access education, counseling, and support.

As Onondaga Community College does not permit consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus, standard sanctions have been adopted by the College to respond to the use of Alcohol and Drug related violations. The College has a commitment to monitor underage student consumption of alcohol, unlawful use of drugs, and/or consumption of alcohol or other drugs to a degree that renders them in need of emergency medical intervention or other extraordinary services. In addition, the College seeks to deter students from engaging in conduct that poses risks to the safety and well-being of the individual student and/or the College community as a whole.

Standard sanctions may apply to a student who violates under these circumstances:

1. A student is found to have engaged in multiple violations of the Code of Student Conduct in a single incident, rather than solely in the violation addressed by the standard sanction;

2. A student is already on a conduct sanction status equal to or greater than the standard sanction for a subsequent offense; and/or

3. A specific incident presents exacerbating circumstances, an ongoing risk to persons or property, or other serious concerns.

The appropriate sanctions will be determined on a case by case basis in light of all the circumstances. Generally, these situations will result in sanctions in excess of the standard sanction.

The presence of substantial mitigating or other appropriate circumstances may result in the reduction of a standard sanction in the discretion of the Coordinator of the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, or the College Appeals Board.

Standard Sanctions for Violations Pertaining to Alcohol and Other Drugs

First Violation Second Violation Third Violation Procedures for Non-Compliance

1. Disciplinary Probation for six (6) months

2. Alcohol or other Drug Workshop

3. Additional sanctions if deemed appropriate

1. Disciplinary Probation for as long as enrolled at the College and/or Temporary Removal from College Residence Halls

2. Decision Making Workshop

3. Notification of parent(s) (written) if permitted by law (including without limitation to FERPA)

1. College Suspension and/or Residential suspension for a period of time deemed appropriate

2. Prior to return to campus the student shall be required to provide the College with documentation that he/she has undergone an assessment for substance abuse by a licensed agency and has completed any requirements deemed necessary as a result of the assessment

3. Notification of parent(s) (written) if permitted by law (including without limitation to FERPA)

4. Good citizenship Petition

1. If a student does not attend the 1st Alcohol and Other Drugs educational workshop sanction and has not provided the appropriate notification to the Administrative Officer, he/she is immediately rescheduled to attend the next educational workshop

2. If a student does not attend the 2nd AOD educational workshop (which means that they are a repeat violator) and has not provided the appropriate notification to the Administrative Officer, he/she may be removed from housing if they are a residential student. If they are not residential they may be placed on interim suspension

AND

may be levied a $26 fine or 5 hours of community service

Standard Sanctions for violations pertaining to WEAPONS

First Violation Second Violation

Possession of a prohibited weapon or other dangerous objects

1. Disciplinary Probation, Suspension, Indefinite Suspension, or Expulsion as determined Administrative Officer or hearing board;

2. Minimum of 80 hours of Community Service and/or other Educational sanctions as deemed appropriate by the case manager or hearing board

1. Possible expulsion from student housing, if the student is not suspended,

2. Indefinitely Suspended, or expelled and lives in residence halls,

Any improper use, attempted use, or threat of use of a weapon or other dangerous, illegal, or hazardous object

1. Expulsion or Indefinite Suspension for a minimum of one academic year

Standard Sanctions for violations pertaining to VIOLENCE

First Violation

Physical harm or threat of physical harm without a weapon resulting in little or no physical injury to involved persons

1. Disciplinary Probation, Suspension, or Indefinite Suspension as determined by the administrative officer or hearing board;

2. Participation in the Conflict Resolution Workshop; Alcohol and Drug referral, if alcohol or other drugs were a factor in the incident;

3. Minimum of 80 hours of community service and/or other Educational sanctions as deemed appropriate by the administrative officer or hearing board

Physical harm without a weapon resulting in significant physical injury to another person

1. Expulsion or Indefinite Suspension for a minimum of one academic year

Standard Sanctions for Violations pertaining to FIRE SAFETY

First Violation Second Violation

Interference with, improper activation of, or damage to any elevator or safety or emergency equipment, including, but not limited to: fire alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and blue lights; lighting any unauthorized fire on College property

1. Disciplinary Probation, indefinite suspension or suspension from residence halls

2. Expulsion or Indefinite Suspension for a minimum of one academic year

Covering Smoke Detectors

Residence hall probation for one year from the date of the incident

Fire safety research paper

Residence hall suspension

Disciplinary probation for 6 months from the date of the incident

Good Citizenship Petition

After a suspension or leave of absence from Onondaga Community College, students are required to prepare and submit a "Good Citizenship Petition," in order to be considered for readmission. The following information explains how to do so:

Thoroughly review the suspension/leave of absence letter written by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards that outlines what the petition must include (e.g., personal statement, evidence of community service hours, character reference, etc.).

The personal reflection statement should clearly address the personal growth the student has undergone since leaving Onondaga Community College and how that growth will contribute to their experiences on campus if they are permitted to return. It is extremely important to be honest, sincere, and forthcoming while writing the personal reflection statement.

The student should gather all needed documentation to adequately assemble the petition for readmission (e.g., letter from community service agency, completed personal reflection statement, etc.).

Once all necessary materials have been gathered, send the package to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at 4585 West Seneca Turnpike using certified or insured mail. This will guarantee that the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will receive the package in a safe, timely manner.

Approximately one week after mailing the package, the student should contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (315-498-2444) to ensure that the package has been received and to ask any questions regarding the petition process.

Petitions are reviewed on a rolling basis and are completed as quickly as possible for the student. Students are informed in writing when a petition review has been completed and, if approved, under what circumstances Syracuse University would support the student’s readmission.

XIII. Mandatory Sanctions for Violations of the Smoking and Tobacco Use Policy

Any Student found “responsible” for violation of College Policy on smoking and tobacco use will be subject to the following sanctions:

First Offense

1. Educational component
2. Additional sanctions if deemed appropriate

Second Offense

1. Educational component
2. 5 hours of community service
3. Additional sanctions if deemed appropriate

Third Offense

1. A fine of $26 will be levied for each additional offense
2. Additional sanctions if deemed appropriate

Procedures for non-compliance with the Mandatory Sanction for Violations pertaining to Smoking and

Tobacco Use Policy

1. If a student does not attend the 1st educational workshop sanction and has not provided the appropriate notification to the Administrative Officer, he/she:

a. is immediately rescheduled to attend the next educational workshop

AND

b. may be levied a $26 fine or 5 hours of community service

XIV. Compliance with Sanctions and Timelines

All sanctions will be communicated to students through their Onondaga Community College clasnet email with clearly established timelines for completion. If the student has not completed the sanction within the timeline and has not received approval by an Administrative Officer for an extension the student will be subject to additional sanctions.

XV. Reporting an Incident

A. Any student, employee, or community member may report an incident by calling Campus Safety and Security.

B. Campus Safety and Security should be contacted immediately to intervene in any incident that a student, employee, or community member witnesses underway on campus.

XVI. Questions

Any questions regarding interpretation or application of this policy shall be referred to the Associate 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.