Student Conduct Policy
Student Conduct Policy All students should become familiar with the policies and procedures listed below.
Student rights, basic to freedom to learn, carry with them the responsibility for conduct based on mutual respect, which is compatible with the functioning of the college as a community. Enrollment at Westchester Community College, therefore, assumes an agreement by each student to obey the rules and regulations of the college, as well as the laws of the State of New York and of the United States. The following information is a summary of college policy that is stated fully in the Student Rights and Responsibilities document, which can be obtained in the Student Affairs Office, Student Center, Room 109.
Violations of these rules, regulations, and laws are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Such violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Falsification of information to the college, through forgery, alteration, or intentional misuse of college documents, records, or identification;
- Theft of, or damage to, property;
- Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct or expression;
- Failure to comply with directions of college employees acting in the performance of their duties;
- Failure to show proper I.D. to requesting college employees acting in the performance of their duties;
- Gambling in any form or games in an unauthorized college location;
- Attendance in class, or at any college-sponsored function, under the influence of alcoholic beverages, or narcotics and illegal drugs, or the unauthorized possession and/or sale of alcoholic beverages, narcotics or illegal drugs on the college campus;
- Use of any unauthorized vehicle on campus;
- Failure to adhere to traffic regulations;
- Infringement upon the rights of other members of the college community by physical or verbal assault or abuse;
- Disruptive conduct in or near classrooms that prevents instructors from performing their functions;
- Any act that interferes with normal operation of the college, or which adversely affects the student’s suitability as a member of the college community;
- Abuses of library privileges and procedures;
- Defacing college property (including graffiti);
- Misuse of college computers; (see the Computer & Communications Technology Use Policy on the college’s web site at www.sunywcc.edu);
- Sexual harassment of a fellow student or employee;
- Bias act towards fellow student or employee.
The Vice President and Associate Dean of Student Personnel Services oversee all student conduct problems. Frequently, serious problems are resolved by the Vice President, the Associate Dean, or through the various departments. In all cases, procedures followed ensure that students’ rights to due process are maintained.
Student rights include:
- statement of charges in writing;
- A prompt, impartial meeting with appropriate administrator(s);
- the right to appear in person;
- the right to be represented by an advisor;
- the right to submit a written response in addition to a personal appearance;
- the right to appeal in cases of dismissal.
The following penalties are those which might be imposed by the college:
- Admonition — an oral statement to the offender pointing out the violation of college rules.
- Warning — a written notice to the offender.
- Censure — a written reprimand for violation of a specified regulation; it would include the possibility of more severe sanctions if the student is found to have violated any college regulations within a stated time period.
- Disciplinary Probation — exclusion from participation in privileged areas of the college or student activities for a set period of time and warning of more severe penalties.
- Restitution — reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property.
- Suspension — exclusion from classes and other activities for a definite period of time, as set forth in the notice of suspension.
- Expulsion or Dismissal — termination of student’s status for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if to be permitted, would be stated in the Order of Expulsion.
- Complaint to civil authorities.
- Immediate suspension or ejection from the campus: this remedy is governed by Article 129A of the New York State Education Law.
Appeals of decisions resulting from this process may be made to the President of the college.
Further details on student rights and responsibilities and related procedures are contained in the Student Rights and Responsibilities document available in the offices of Student Affairs and the Associate Dean of Student Personnel Services.
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 Associate 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 Associate 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 Associate 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 Associate 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. For employees who are its victims, it can put jobs in jeopardy, threatening salaries, promotions, and working conditions. 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 or employment.
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 and to ensure employment free of intimidation, 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 and employees to confront sexual harassers, to report incidents, and/or to seek advice and assistance. Help is available from the college’s sexual harassment officer (914-606-6931). She is charged with the responsibility of investigating sexual harassment complaints and with instituting the more formal procedures in existence for resolving them. Students may also speak with the Associate Dean, Student Personnel Services (914-606-6733), with guidance counselors, and with faculty advisors. The Women’s Forum is available to adult women students (914-606-6901).
The college has prepared a brochure on sexual harassment to define the subject and suggest ways of handling incidents. A fuller statement of the college’s sexual harassment policy, explaining procedures in more detail, was adopted in the Fall of 1992 and published in the Faculty Handbook. Both brochure and statement are available from any of the persons listed above, and from the offices of the Associate Deans. In addition, complying with policies adopted by Westchester County and mandated by law, all administrators, staff, and full-time faculty have been undergoing training about sexual harassment. This training program will continue for new employees and faculty members.
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 Associate 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 cigarette smoking is the largest preventable cause of illness and premature death in this country. Non-smokers regularly exposed to tobacco smoke are also at increased risk. 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, the following regulations have been adopted:
- Smoking is prohibited in all indoor locations, including academic areas (classrooms, lecture halls, seminar rooms, laboratories, the library, and computing facilities), public places (conference rooms, auditoriums, exhibition areas, indoor athletic facilities, cafeteria, and bookstore), common areas (lobbies, hallways, waiting areas, restrooms, stairwells, elevators and service areas) and all offices.
- Smoking will be permitted in all outdoor areas surrounding campus buildings as long as these areas are properly maintained (e.g., cigarette butts to be placed in receptacles provided). However, smoking is prohibited in any outside area where there is a roof or overhang above you, unless that area is specifically designated as a smoking area.
- Cigarettes are not available for sale at any location on the campus.
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.