Student Code of Conduct
The mission of Westchester Community College’s Student Code of Conduct is to create an effective living and learning environment by enforcing policies, providing a disciplinary process, and providing sanctions that foster ethical development, personal accountability and civility toward others.
College Policy Statement
It is the policy of Westchester Community College to enforce a Student Code of Conduct, to be administered by the Director of Student Development, Director of Counseling, and the Vice-President & Dean of Students for the purpose of maintaining a campus environment that is conducive to learning, protects the college’s educational purposes, maintains order on campus, and protects the rights of all members of the college community. Students enrolling at the college assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the college’s academic standards, general policies, and the Student Code of Conduct. Behavior, which adversely affects the student’s responsible membership in the academic community, shall result in appropriate disciplinary action. The College will not tolerate any interference with the rights of any member of our college community, any defacement of college property or any disruption of any authorized college function. The Student Code of Conduct and the accompanying student disciplinary processes are intended to assist students in their personal development by providing a fair conduct review procedure that issues consistent penalties for behaviors that are incongruent with the College’s expectations.
In furthering the educational aims of the college and maintaining compliance with the provisions of Article 129-A of the education law of the State of New York, the Student Code of Conduct, below, outlines the practices to be utilized in administering the student disciplinary system at Westchester Community College.
Section I: Philosophy
The Code embraces several core philosophies: preservation of the freedom of speech and the right of peaceable assembly; respect for academic freedom and constructive criticism; a conviction that honesty and integrity are key values to the College community; and the belief that all members of the institution should be part of a campus environment that respects differences of culture, gender, religion, race, age, lifestyle, or ability.
Section II: Responsibility for Implimentation
The President, as Chief Executive Officer of the College, has overall responsibility for implementation of the Student Conduct Code and the student disciplinary process. The overall management of the Code and the disciplinary process has been delegated to the Judicial Affairs Representatives of the College who consist of the Vice President and Dean of Students, the Director of Counseling and the Director of Student Development.
Section III: Jurisdiction
The College will have jurisdiction over misconduct that occurs on College premises and/or at College-sponsored activities but may also address off-campus behavior if the College determines that the behavior, or the continued presence of the student, impairs, obstructs, interferes with or adversely affects the mission, processes or functions of the College.
Section IV: Violations
The subsequent behaviors are subject to disciplinary action under the Westchester Community College Student Code of Conduct but are not limited to the following infractions. A student or a group of students may be charged with any of the violations listed below as well as any institutional policy. In cases where a violation is committed by an individual student, any other students not directly involved but who participate in the activity by encouraging or condoning the act in any manner will also be subject to disciplinary action.
A. Academic Dishonesty
Engaging in academic dishonesty in any form with respect to examinations, course assignments, research projects, grades, and/or academic records is prohibited, including, but not limited to the following:
- Cheating - using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids in any academic assignment. Examples of cheating are: looking on someone else’s paper; using any kind of “cheat” sheet or other enhancement during a test; allowing someone else to take an exam in your place; submitting the same work more than once for credit; using someone else’s homework or lab assignments; collaborating with another student on any assignment or take-home test if told that collaboration was not allowed; assisting another student in committing an act of academic dishonesty by allowing another student to copy homework or an exam; taking an exam for someone else; or giving test information to students in other sections of the same class.
- Falsification - intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic assignment. Examples of falsification are: making up data on an assignment; making up a source to cite in a paper; altering then resubmitting returned academic work; giving false information to a faculty or staff member to increase one’s grade; or attempting to change, actually changing, altering grades or any other unauthorized tampering with grades.
- Plagiarism - deliberate and knowing use of someone else’s work or ideas as one’s own. Examples of plagiarism are: quoting a source verbatim, or paraphrasing text from a given source, without properly citing the source; turning in a research paper that was written by someone else; or in any other way passing off someone else’s work as one’s own; or failing to give credit for ideas or materials taken from someone else.
B. Drug and Alcohol Violations
Possession, consumption or being under the influence of any controlled substance while physically present at any facility owned or rented by College is prohibited, including:
- Attendance in class, or at any college-sponsored function, under the influence of alcoholic beverages, or narcotics and illegal drugs.
- Unauthorized possession and/or use of alcoholic beverages, narcotics, prescription drugs or other controlled substances in violation of local, state or federal drug or narcotic laws.
- Distribution, delivery or sale of alcoholic beverages, narcotics, prescription drugs or other controlled substances in violation of local, state or federal drug or narcotic laws.
- Possession or use of drug paraphernalia.
C. Computer Misuse
Engaging in any unauthorized use of the College’s hardware, software or network systems is prohibited, including:
- Unauthorized access, entry or use of a computer, computer system, network, software, password, account or data.
- Unauthorized alteration or tampering with computer equipment, software, network, or data.
- Unauthorized copying or distribution of computer software or data.
- Use of computing facilities or equipment to send obscene, harassing, threatening or abusive messages.
- Use of computers to falsify records, tamper with records or commit any act of academic dishonesty.
- Any other act in violation of the law and/or College policies and guidelines regulating computer-related use.
D. Disruptive Conduct
Engaging in any behavior that disrupts any function of the College is prohibited, including:
- Actions that impair, interfere with, or obstruct the normal operations of the College.
- Actions that interfere with the rights of other members of the College community.
- Actions that impair, interfere with, or obstruct the orderly conduct, processes and functions within any classroom or other instructional setting. This includes interfering with a faculty member’s or instructor’s role to carry out the normal academic or educational functions of his/her class.
- Participating in, leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal campus activities, events and programs.
- Disturbance of any member of the College community or visitor.
- Solicitation on campus without prior approval from appropriate College officials. This includes, but is not limited to, the disbursement of any forms of promotional/informational material on College property or on items (e.g. motor vehicles) on College property, requests for donations, or the selling or vending of any merchandise or services.
- Use of any unauthorized vehicle on campus or failure to adhere to traffic regulations.
E. Failure to Comply with Authority
Failing to comply with the directions of any authorized College official is prohibited, including:
- Failure to comply with a lawful order of a College official, including security personnel, in the performance of his/her duty.
- Failure to comply with request to show proper identification to College officials or employees acting in the performance of their duties.
- Failure to comply with the sanctions rendered during the student judicial process.
- Failure to comply with a request to be interviewed by the Vice President and Dean of Student, Director of Counseling or Director of Student Development during the investigation of a conduct code violation.
F. Falsification/Fraud/False Testimony
Knowingly providing false or incorrect information to any College official or misrepresenting yourself to the institution is prohibited, including:
- Falsification of information to the College, including false reporting of emergencies, knowingly making false accusations or providing misleading statements.
- Providing the College with false documentation, including records and transcripts.
- Providing false testimony during the disciplinary process.
- Misuse, reproduction, alteration or forgery of any College related documents, records, identification, keys, access codes or property.
G. Fire and Safety Violations
Knowingly engaging in behavior that disrupts any fire and safety systems, procedures and policies is prohibited, including:
- Damage to, removal of or tampering with any fire safety systems, firefighting equipment or other emergency warning equipment.
- Intentional or reckless burning or setting fire to any building or piece of property owned or controlled by the College.
H. Gambling Violations
Any unauthorized gambling on campus is prohibited, including:
- Participation in games of chance or gambling on campus for money or other items of value except as provided by law.
I. Violations committed by Guests or Family Members
Any guests or family member brought or invited to the College by a student are subject to the same code of conduct the enrolled student is. In addition:
- Students are responsible for informing their guests or family members about campus regulations and conduct policies. Students may be held accountable for inappropriate behavior committed by their guests and family members.
- Students, who sign a release form authorizing a third party to speak freely to College officials on their behalf, can be sanctioned if that third party violates the student code of conduct.
Any form of harassment or stalking is prohibited, including:
- Conduct (not of a sexual nature) that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive campus, educational or work environment for any member of the college community or visitors. This includes behavior directed at others based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or personal beliefs.
- Conduct (not of a sexual nature) that threatens, intimidates, humiliates, or otherwise harms another member of the college community or visitors. This includes behavior directed at others based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or personal beliefs.
- Stalking, defined as following or otherwise contacting, via any means, another person repeatedly for no legitimate purpose, so as to put that person in fear for his/her life or personal safety, or to cause that person substantial emotional distress. Stalking includes:
- Repeatedly following or harassing another person.
- Contacting a person after being asked or ordered not to contact the person.
- Violating any provision of the New York State Stalking Law.
K. Physical and Verbal Endangerment
Any form of physical or verbal abuse is prohibited, including:
- 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.
L. Misuse of Property/Facilities/Services
Any form of destruction, vandalism or physical abuse to any College Facility or property is prohibited, including:
- Theft of College property or property of a member of the College or visitor.
- Damage, destruction, or defacement of College property or property of a member of the College or visitor.
- Public posting, selling of, or in any other way, distribution of notes of class lectures, course handouts and outlines, and/or any other College-supplied materials without the express written permission of the instructor.
- Unauthorized possession and/or use of College property or property of a member of the College or visitor, including knowingly being in possession of stolen goods. .
- Unauthorized entry into College facilities, including but not limited to buildings, classrooms, hallways, entryways, conference rooms, and campus grounds.
- Use or operation of rollerblades, skates, skateboards, bicycles, and similar items inside College facilities, unless expressly permitted.
- Violation of any policy or guidelines pertaining to specific usage of a College facility.
- The use of college computers to view pornography, obscene material, or any subject matter that would be reasonably offensive to others.
M. Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Harassment
Any form of sexual misconduct or harassment is prohibited, including:
- Any sexual act that occurs without the consent of the other person or occurs when the other person is unable to give consent.
- Conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive campus, educational or working 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.
Unauthorized possession or use of weapons is prohibited, including:
- Possession, storage or use of firearms and other weapons, including non-lethal weapons.
- Possession, storage or use of firecrackers, gunpowder, ammunition, explosives or incendiary devices, or other articles or substances which could endanger health or safety.
O. Other Violations
Violation of any other College policy or regulation can be subject to disciplinary action, including:
- Violation of any other published or posted College regulations not specifically mentioned in this Section, including, but not limited to, the WCC Catalogue; WCC’s Drug and Alcohol Policy; WCC Classroom Conduct Policy; WCC Smoking Policy; WCC Sexual Assault Policy; WCC Policy on Human Diversity; and WCC Sexual Assault Policy.
- Aiding and abetting another in any violation of College policies, regulations and codes.
- Attempting or intending to commit any violation outlined in the Student Conduct Code.
Section V: Sanctions for Misconduct
The purpose of College discipline is to be corrective and educational as well as punitive. The disciplinary experience is intended to make clear to students the limits of acceptable behavior and to give students who violate the rules an opportunity to more fully understand the rules and incorporate the experience into his/her overall development. Assigned discipline may include a combination of sanctions for a particular incident. The sanctions which may be incurred include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Sanctions for Students
- Verbal Warning: notice that continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may be cause for additional disciplinary action.
- Official Warning: An official written statement of the College’s disapproval of a student’s actions and a warning that any future violation(s) will be dealt with more severely.
- Disciplinary Probation: An official notice that the student’s conduct is in violation of the Student Conduct Code but does not warrant suspension or permanent dismissal. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student commits another conduct code violation during the probationary period. During the Probation period, a student may be excluded from some programs and curricular or extra-curricular activities.
- Suspension: An involuntary separation of the student from the College for a definite period of time and/or until certain conditions for readmission are met. The student is not guaranteed readmission at the end of such period of time, but is guaranteed a review of the case and a decision regarding eligibility for readmission.
- Expulsion/Dismissal: An involuntary separation from the College for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if permitted, would be stated in the Order of Expulsion.
- Other Secondary Sanctions may be imposed instead of or in addition to those specified above. Secondary sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- Restitution (compensation for loss, damage or injury)
- Community Service
- Educational Activities such as a reflective writing assignment or attendance at an event directly related to the violation committed.
- Restrictions (temporary or permanent loss of privileges or the use of a College facility or service)
B. Counseling and/or Psychiatric Assessments
In addition to any sanctions assigned, a student may also be required to undergo a mandated counseling sessions or a psychiatric evaluation or assessment. Issuance of sanctions may be postponed pending the results of counseling sessions or a psychiatric assessment. In certain cases, re-instatement to the college could be contingent to a psychiatric evaluation clearing the student to return to the College.
C. Involuntary Administrative Withdrawal
A student may be involuntarily withdrawn from the College, either temporarily or permanently, if it is determined that a student suffers from a mental disorder as defined by the current American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, and as a result of the disorder:
- Engages, or threatens to engage, in behavior which poses a danger of causing physical harm to self or others, and/or
- Engages, or threatens to engage, in behavior which would cause significant property damage, which directly and substantially impedes the lawful activities of other members of the College, and/or
- Demonstrates an inability to satisfy personal needs (e.g., nourishment, shelter) such that there is a reasonable possibility that serious physical harm or death might occur within a short period of time, and/or
- Commits a violation of the College’s Student Conduct Code and lacks the capacity to comprehend and participate in the College’s disciplinary process, and/or
- Commits a violation of the College’s Student Conduct Code and did not understand the nature or wrongfulness of the conduct at the time of the offense.
Section VI: Rights of Charged Students in Discliplinary Proceeding
A. Informal Conversation
The following rights apply to a student conduct proceeding for an Informal Conversation. Students will have the right to:
- A written statement of the charges against them.
- A prompt and impartial meeting with a judicial affairs officer.
- An opportunity to discuss and attempt to resolve the charges by mutual agreement.
- Take the proceeding to a Formal Hearing, if a resolution cannot be found with an Informal Conversation.
- A written statement of the outcome of the proceedings.
B. Formal Hearing
The following rights apply to a student conduct proceeding for a Formal Hearing. Students will have the right to:
- A written statement of the charges against them and a list of their rights.
- A prompt and impartial hearing.
- A closed meeting, which will include the charged student and a judicial affairs officer.
- A support person from the College, who is a full time employee of the institution, of his/her choosing. This support person can attend the Formal Hearing but may not participate.
- Present any witness and/or pertinent, supportive documentation in their defense. The number of witnesses may be limited to avoid dilatory tactics.
- Written statement of the outcome of the proceeding, and a description of the reconsideration/appeal procedure.
- Have the decision of the Director of Student Development or Director of Counseling reconsidered/appealed.
- The decision of the Vice-president and Dean of Students cannot be reconsidered/appealed.
C. Reconsideration or Appeal
The following rights apply to a student conduct proceeding for Reconsideration or Appeal. Students will have the right to:
- A prompt and impartial hearing through the Office of the Vice-president and Dean of Students.
- Adequate notice of a scheduled meeting.
- Present new information including witnesses and/or any other pertinent, supportive documentation that was not available in the original defense.
- A closed hearing, which will include only the charged student; the Vice-president and Dean of Students; and the judicial affairs officer who adjudicated the original formal conversation.
- A written statement of the outcome of the proceeding.
Section VII: College Discliplinary Procedures
Any member of the college community may initiate a complaint against a student for an alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code with a judicial affairs officer. A complainant shall submit the complaint to one of these offices within a reasonable amount of time from the date he/she becomes aware of the alleged violation. For purposes of this Code, an incident report generated by the Security Office or a Student Incident Report form (Appendix A) submitted by a member of the College will be considered a complaint to be reviewed by a judicial affairs officer for possible Student Conduct Code violations. In some instances, verbal reports will also be accepted for review in cases when the student is immediately brought in by security or if a complainant is unable to submit a complaint in writing and/or in a timely manner.
B. Charges and Notice
- A judicial affairs officer will investigate each complaint, and if the circumstances surrounding the complaint indicate that a violation of the Student Conduct Code may have occurred, disciplinary charges may be issued. The student will be notified of the charges in writing.
- Proper written notice to a student will include the following:
A. If mailed:
1. Statement of the specific conduct code(s) violated;
2. Any immediate penalty assigned or other action taken (if any);
3. Kind of proceeding the student will be assigned
4. Amount of time in which the student has to respond to the notice;
5. Ramifications of not responding to the notice within a specified time limit; and
6. Copy of “Rights of Charged Students in Disciplinary Proceedings” (Appendix B).
B. If the student is present:
1. Statement of the specific conduct code(s) violated;
2. Any penalty assigned or other action taken (if any);
3. Kind of proceeding the student will be assigned
4. Copy of “Rights of Charged Students in Disciplinary Proceedings”.
3. The Director of Student Development, Director of Counseling or the Vice-president and Dean of Students may place a disciplinary hold on a student’s academic record, and/or may go forward with disciplinary action against a student in either of the following situations:
A. The student fails to respond to a Notice of Charges or Student Disciplinary Hearing letter within the applicable time limit.
B. The student fails to appear at his/her scheduled formal or informal hearing or appeal hearing.
4. The College reserves the right to immediately suspend a student in advance of the formal process if the College can substantiate that such separation from the college is necessary to protect the health and well being of the college and any member thereof. If a student is immediately suspended, he/she must schedule an appointment with the Vice-president and Dean of Students in order to request a reconsideration/appeal or to get re-instated to the College.
C. Disposition of Cases
The disposition of case may be handled in the following formats. The decision of which format to be used will be up to the Community Standards Representative who receives the case.
- Informal Conversation- The Director of Student Development or the Director of Counseling will meet informally with the student to discuss the alleged violation(s). An effort will be made to resolve the charges by mutual agreement between the parties, and an attempt will be made to determine the nature of disciplinary action, if any. If an agreement is reached, a written report shall be filed. If an agreement is not reached the case will be moved to a formal hearing.
- Formal Hearing- During a formal hearing, the Director of Student Development or the Director of Counseling will meet formally with the student to address the alleged violation(s). The student will have the opportunity to respond to the charge(s); present documentation and witnesses in their behalf; and provide information to refute the charges. At the conclusion of the meeting, the judicial affairs officer adjudicating the case will make a decision and provided the student with the outcome in writing. The student then has five school days to file for a reconsideration/appeal of the decision to the Vice-president and Dean of Students, if he or she chooses,
- Reconsideration/Appeal- If the student disagrees with either the determination of the case or the applied sanction, the student may request that the Vice President and Dean of Students reconsider the decision and/or the sanction. The decision of the Vice President shall be final.
D. Reconsideration/Appeal of a Decision
1. Grounds for Reconsideration/Appeal- The following will be the only grounds for a reconsideration:
1. There were procedural or processing errors in the case.
2. There were procedural errors in the interpretation of College rules and regulations serious enough to deny the student a fair disciplinary proceeding.
3. There is new evidence of a substantive nature not previously available at the time of the original proceeding, which would have materially affected the decision.
4. The severity of the sanction is disproportionate to the violation(s) committed.
5. The decision of the judicial affairs officer was not supported by the evidence presented at the original proceeding.
2. Reconsideration/Appeal Process for Students - The following steps must be followed by students in order to file a reconsideration/appeal:
1. A written request for reconsideration/appeal must be submitted to the Office of the Vice-president and Dean of Students within five working days from the date of the written decision of the original proceeding. The written request for a reconsideration/appeal must state the grounds for reconsideration/appeal (citing the appropriate grounds from the “Grounds for Reconsideration” list below); a discussion of the evidence and facts in support of the reconsideration/appeal; and a recommended solution. The request for reconsideration must be typed. Failure to file a written request within the allotted time will render the original decision final. If the Vice-president finds grounds for the reconsideration/appeal to go forward, the student will be scheduled for a reconsideration/appeal meeting.
2. Any sanction(s) issued by a judicial affairs officer will not take effect until the appeal process is completed.
3. Disposition of the Reconsideration Meeting
1. Before the reconsideration/appeal meeting, either the Director of Student Development or the Director of Counseling will present case materials from the original proceeding to give the Vice-president a background of the case.
2. During the reconsideration/appeal meeting, the presiding officer will be the Vice-president and Dean of Students. He/She has the right to interject or ask questions at any time during the meeting. The student will initiate the meeting by presenting his/her case to the Vice President. The judicial affairs officer (whoever presided in the original proceeding) will present any counter arguments.
3. Once both parties have presented and the Vice-president has asked all his/her questions, he/she will go into closed session to reach a decision on the case. When the meeting reconvenes the Vice-president will present his/her decision.
4. The Vice-president may uphold the decision, alter the sanctions imposed in the Formal Hearing, or dismiss the case against the student. The decision presented by the Vice-president will be final.
Section VIII: Special Discliplinary Provisions Governing Acts of Academic Dishonesty
- Academic dishonesty is both an academic matter between a student and his/her faculty member and a violation under the Student Conduct Code subject to College disciplinary action. An act of academic dishonesty may and should be handled by the faculty member, the student, and, if appropriate, the faculty member’s department head and/or the dean over that particular academic department. Sanctions that can be assigned by a faculty member range from giving a reduced grade on the particular work in question to failing the student for the entire course. In addition, some academic departments and programs have their own policies for dealing with academic dishonesty. A sanction assigned by a faculty member and/or an academic department or program is an academic, not a disciplinary sanction.
- If the matter is resolved satisfactorily between the student and the faculty member, and the faculty member decides not to refer the student for College disciplinary action, the faculty member may still report the incident to the appropriate judicial affairs officer (Director of Counseling). The Director of Counseling will maintain a record of the reported incident and may elect to pursue College disciplinary action against a student who is reported to that office for a subsequent act of academic dishonesty.
- If the faculty member decides that a stronger sanction is needed instead of or in addition to any academic sanctions assigned by that faculty member, the incident may be referred to the Director of Counseling for review and possible College disciplinary action. Once the referral is made, the incident will be handled in the same manner as would any other allegation under the Student Code of Conduct.
- In cases where the student denies the allegation of academic dishonesty, the faculty member may elect to postpone assigning any academic sanctions until after the student has gone through the College disciplinary process. If at the end of that process, the charge of academic dishonesty is upheld, the faculty member may then assign an academic sanction. The academic sanction is independent of any disciplinary actions taken against the student by the College.
- Academic sanctions assigned by the faculty member in agreement with the student or assigned by the faculty member after the charge of academic dishonesty has been validated through the College disciplinary system cannot be grieved under the College’s Grade Grievance Procedure.
Section IX: Student Disciplinary Files and Records
- The judicial affairs officer (Director of Student Development or the Director of Counseling) will establish a student disciplinary file whenever a case is referred for investigation of a possible conduct code violation. A student’s file will be destroyed if the investigation indicates that no violation occurred. The file of a student found to have violated the conduct code will be retained for four years from the date of the sanction or until the student’s graduation or transfer from the College, whichever comes first. Student conduct records may be retained longer or permanently if the student was suspended or permanently dismissed or if there is reason to believe the case could result in future litigation. The case summary will be retained on the Judicial Affairs database indefinitely.
- The release of student disciplinary records will be governed by applicable federal and state laws governing the privacy of educational records.
Classroom Conduct Policy
In the interest of establishing and maintaining an appropriate learning environment, maximizing the educational benefit to all students, maintaining an atmosphere of safety and comfort, and clarifying the faculty and students’ expectations of classroom conduct the college has established the following policy:
- Students are expected to arrive on time. If a student is unavoidably late and the instructor permits him or her to enter, he or she should do so quietly and be seated quickly.
- Students are expected to refrain from participating in personal conversations during class.
- Every student is expected to focus on the class lesson. Please refrain from doing other class work, reading newspapers or magazines, eating, drinking or sleeping.
- Students are expected to use appropriate language at all times and be polite to one another.
- Students are expected to remain seated during class and not to leave the room unless you have notified the instructor or in case of an emergency.
- Students must turn off all cell phones and beepers prior to the beginning of class.
- Visitors are only allowed with permission from the instructor. Children are not permitted in class at any time.
- Students are expected to refrain from packing up and preparing to leave until the instructor has dismissed the class. (It is the instructor’s responsibility to dismiss the class at the proper time.)
Online Code of Conduct
Students have the right to express themselves and participate freely in an online class. However, they are expected to treat each other and the instructor with courtesy and respect. Offensive or inappropriate language is not to be used in any form of communication e.g., emails, discussion postings, group projects, submitted assignments. Students are allowed to disagree with each other or the instructor but must do so in a civil manner.
The discussion area of the course is reserved for postings related to course work only. Postings of a personal or nonacademic nature are not permitted and may be removed by the instructor should they appear. Grades and personal issues should be handled by private email to the instructor.
Emails to the instructor that are considered offensive or inappropriate will be sent back to the writer with a request to rewrite and resubmit. If the emails continue to be unacceptable, the student will be referred to the Academic Dean of Students and denied access to the course until the Dean contacts the student. If students receive inappropriate emails from others in the class they should notify the instructor and appropriate action will be taken.
Students are expected to submit work which is their own. Plagiarism or cheating will not be tolerated. If either is the case the student may have his/her grade for the assignment/quiz lowered or may fail the course.
Distance Learning Students are encouraged to visit the Distance Learning pages of the college web site for a complete list of student expectations.
Children in Classrooms and on the Campus
Children are not permitted in the classroom, lecture room, or laboratory at any time that instruction is taking place. A child’s presence in the classroom can be a distraction to the professor, to other class members, and even to the parent and could expose the child to injury. Children visiting other locations on campus (such as the library or cafeteria) must be supervised at all times.
Students’ Rights and Responsibilities
Upon acceptance and registration, all students become voluntary members of the academic community at Westchester Community College. Initial and continued participation in this community is dependent upon students’ understanding not only of their rights and privileges, but of their responsibilities as well. Therefore, it is understood that each student accepts the obligations of this relationship as outlined in the “Student Rights and Responsibilities” document, available free of charge in the Student Affairs Office. For further information, and for procedures followed in cases of student misconduct, see College Policies and Procedures .
Policy on Human Diversity
Westchester Community College endeavors to establish and maintain an environment in which individuals of various groups and backgrounds learn to live together in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Furthermore, the college asserts that students’ educations are inadequate unless they have acquired knowledge and appreciation of human diversity and have established sets of values with which to function positively in a pluralistic society.
Respect for and understanding of cultural diversity in all its forms is a strong antidote for prejudice, racism, and discrimination based on religion, national origin, ethnic grouping, color or other socially-derived attempts to deny people their human rights. Accordingly, the college strives to find the common elements that unite us and the positive differences that strengthen us.
- To provide all students with experiences in and out of the classroom that enhance their understanding and respect for differences in race, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and socio-economic background.
- To sensitize the staff and faculty to regard cultural differences as the norm, not the exception, while recognizing our common needs and aspirations.
- To encourage diverse groups to participate in cooperative endeavors and interactions.
Discrimination Complaint Procedures
A student who wishes to make a complaint about a faculty member, employee, or another student regarding alleged discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, age, gender, sexual preference, or disability should register that complaint with the Academic Dean of Student Affairs (914-606-6733), located in the Student Center. At that time, the student will be advised of the next step to be taken. (A complaint about sexual harassment would be referred to the sexual harassment officer.)
An employee who wishes to make a complaint about a supervisor, fellow employee, faculty member, or student regarding alleged discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, age, gender, sexual preference, or disability should register that complaint with the Affirmative Action Officer (914-606-6977). (A complaint about sexual harassment would be referred to the sexual harassment officer.)
In any case of alleged discrimination, the first step would be to attempt to resolve the complaint informally.
If a resolution satisfactory to both complainant and respondent is reached within 15 working days through the efforts of the Academic Dean of Student Affairs, the college official, or other designated person, the case shall be closed. A written notice to that effect will be sent to the complainant.
If no informal resolution is possible, and the student or employee wishes to pursue the complaint, a grievance must be submitted in writing. Such formal grievances must be filed within 45 working days following the alleged discriminatory act, or the time the complainant first becomes aware of that alleged discrimination. Student grievances must be filed with the Academic Dean of Student Affairs, who will forward the grievance to the appropriate college official. Employee grievances must be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer, who will do the same.
All cases of alleged discrimination for any of the above-mentioned reasons will be forwarded to the Affirmative Action Officer. In cases of alleged discrimination based on gender, the grievance also will be forwarded to the Title IX Gender Equity Coordinator; in cases of alleged discrimination based on disability, the grievance also will be forwarded to the 504 Disability Coordinator. In all cases the discrimination complaint will be dealt with in a timely fashion by each compliance officer in the manner described above.
A decision will be sent in writing to the grievant within 30 working days of the receipt of the formal complaint by all appropriate parties.
Title IX and Section 504 Coordinators
In accordance with Federal regulations, the New York State Human Rights Law and Section 504, Westchester Community College does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability or handicap in educational programs, activities and employment.
The following individuals may be contacted for further information on Affirmative Action and Section 504:
|Title IX/Affirmative Action Coordinator
||Section 504 Coordinator
||Marcia Kalkut, Assistant
|Academic Arts Building, Room 302
||Classroom Building, Room 4
Sexual Harassment Policy
Sexual harassment includes any unwanted verbal or physical sexual advance, requests for sexual favors, sexually explicit derogatory remarks, and sexually discriminating remarks which are offensive or objectionable to the person at whom they are directed or which cause a person discomfort or humiliation.
On campus, sexual harassment destroys the trusting relationship that should exist between students and others in the academic community. In all cases, the harasser has introduced a personal element into what should be a sex-neutral situation, and has prevented people from benefiting fully from their education.
Whether verbal or physical, sexual harassment is an act of aggression. It is a violation of both federal law (section 703 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX Education Amendments of 1972) and state law (New York State Human Rights Act).
In order to maintain an educational environment fully conducive to learning and academic freedom, Westchester Community College has both a moral and legal obligation to investigate all complaints of sexual harassment and to pursue sanctions when warranted. The college encourages students to confront sexual harassers, to report incidents, and/or to seek advice and assistance. Help is available from the college’s sexual harassment officers (914-606-6381 or 914-606-6572). They are charged with the responsibility of investigating sexual harassment complaints and with instituting the more formal procedures in existence for resolving them.
Sexual Assault Policy
Westchester Community College is committed to creating a community free from violence. Sexual Assault, harassment, dating/domestic violence and stalking as defined by State and Federal law will not be tolerated at Westchester Community College, college supported events or activities, or at functions of recognized student organizations, on or off campus. Westchester Community College will take action, as needed, to discourage, prevent, correct and if necessary, discipline behavior that violates this standard of conduct. Rape and sexual assault constitute crimes. Federal and New York State Law and college policy prohibit such behavior.
Confidentiality is fundamental to all aspects of cases dealing with sexual assault. The names of sexual assault victims shall not be revealed by persons responsible for implementing and enforcing the provisions of this policy, except with consent of the victim.
The college recognizes the necessity of a community which is open and intellectually stimulating, where diversity of ideas is valued and every person’s safety, dignity and autonomy is respected whether they are students, faculty, or staff, and regardless of race, ethnicity, age, religion, class, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
Westchester Community College is without dormitories or resident students. Parking lots, walkways, and areas surrounding each building are well lighted, and the campus is regularly patrolled by the 24-hour guard service. While there have been occasional incidents of crime, the campus has generally been a safe and secure environment.
In order to help maintain this status and improve upon it, all members of the campus family are required to maintain up-to-date identification cards which are available, free of charge, from the Security Office in the Student Center. There is a small fee to replace lost ID cards. In addition, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors are advised to:
- pay careful attention to your personal belongings, including textbooks, at all times
- lock your car, each time you leave it, leaving nothing inside within view, and
- have your car keys in hand before leaving a building
Blue Light Phones and Emergency Cell Phones
There are 15 strategically located emergency blue light phones on campus that connect directly with the County Police without having to dial. These phones are for emergencies requiring immediate police assistance. Directions for proper use are printed on the inside of the call box in English and Spanish. In addition, the Security Department emergency phone number is 6-911.
In addition, the college has free emergency cell phones available for any student, faculty, or staff member. Please contact our Security Office in the Student Center.
Additional information regarding security and safety at Westchester Community College is regularly updated and available on the college web site at www.sunywcc.edu/security.
Important Security and Safety Information
In compliance with the Federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, Westchester Community College publishes an annual “Campus Security & Safety Report.” This report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the college; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies related to campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, bias crimes and other crimes. The Advisory Committee on Campus Safety will provide upon request all campus crime statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education. To obtain these crime statistics, access the U.S. Department of Education web site at: www.ope.ed.gov/security/Search.asp
To get a copy of the full report and crime statistics, contact the Security Office, Room 113 in the Student Center Building (914-606-6730) or visit the following web site: www.sunywcc.edu/security
Emergency procedures to follow for fire or injuries or other medical emergencies, techniques on how to avoid becoming a crime victim, and lists of resources are available to students and employees in the brochures, “Campus Safety and Law Enforcement” and “Sexual Assault Prevention,” widely distributed to all incoming students. Additional copies of these brochures can be obtained from the Security Office in the Student Center.
Alcohol and Drug Policy
Alcohol and drug abuse are devastating both to the user and to the college community. In addition to impacting the lives of others in dangerous ways, users of illegal drugs and alcohol subject themselves to serious health problems both now and for years into the future, including addiction, disease, and loss of physical skills. Substance abuse is a major cause of accidents, and can seriously affect academic performance and campus morale. Possession, use, and distribution of illegal drugs or alcohol on college property or at college-sponsored events are forbidden. Infractions will result in serious disciplinary action; students could be expelled. Employees could be fired.
The college, therefore, discourages students and employees from covering for co-workers or fellow students who are users but rather encourages them to assist users in getting help. Students should seek out faculty members, counselors, the Student Health Office (914-606-6610) or Student Affairs (914-606-6731). Employees can go to their immediate supervisors or to Westchester County’s Employee Assistance Program (914-995-6070).
In addition, under local, state, and federal laws, illegal use of drugs and alcohol is a serious crime. Conviction of a felony carries serious consequences, including loss of citizenship rights during the period of sentence and a possible jail term. Convictions may also jeopardize future employment opportunities.
Further information on the legal consequences of alcohol and drug abuse can be found in the Library/Educational Technologies Center under Public Law 101-226. Additional information is also available from the Academic Dean of Student Personnel Services Office, Room 219, the Office of Student Affairs, Room 109, or the Security Department, Room 113, in the Student Center Building.
The Surgeon General of the United States has determined that use of tobacco products is the largest preventable cause of illness and premature death in this country. Westchester Community College has been, and continues to be, committed to the health and well-being of its staff, faculty, and students. The college not only has a vested interest in the vitality of its students and those who administer and operate the programs here, but also a role to play in the promotion and advancement of the general health of our society as a whole. We are dedicated to providing a safe and healthful environment.
In response to these considerations, tobacco use is now prohibited in all Westchester Community College facilities and outdoor areas. For details about this policy please visit www.sunywcc.edu/smoking.
It is the policy of Westchester Community College to make every effort to protect the environment, especially in the following ways:
- Promote awareness of environmental issues.
- Minimize consumption of natural resources, especially paper and energy.
- Encourage recycling and/or reuse of materials.
- Use only products known to be environmentally safe.
- Follow regulations and standards for safe use, storage and disposal of materials.
- Follow regulations and standards for safe use of machinery, equipment and technical processes.
- Require periodic monitoring and reporting of progress toward implementation.