Student Code of Conduct
Westchester Community College students have a responsibility to uphold and build upon the values of the college community. The Student Code of Conduct is the document that details these values and student responsibilities. The college looks to students to breathe life into this code by engaging in activities that promote individual growth, demonstrate civility toward others, and build community through the safe, respectful exchange of diverse thought, opinion, and action while on campus and in everyday events. To maintain the trust extended by the college, students are expected to be exhibit personal accountability and remember that the decisions they make have an impact on the overall health of our community, and ultimately, on the quality of their experience.
Students who breach this trust and engage in activities that are counter to the community’s values will be held accountable. The Student Code of Conduct establishes a fair and transparent process for the adjudication of alleged violations. The Student Code of Conduct seeks to be educational, not punitive, in nature while also ensuring that the interest and wellbeing of the greater college community and its members are protected.
It is essential that student are familiar with the Student Code of Conduct and refer to it throughout their education at Westchester Community College. A complete and accurate copy of the Student Code of Conduct can be found at www.sunywcc.edu/codeofconduct.
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.
A classroom is defined as any academic space, inclusive of laboratories, field sites/locations, etc. that is formally utilized for learning in connection to an academic course led by a member of the faculty.
- Students are expected to arrive on time, remain seated during class, and refrain from packing up to leave class early. A student arriving late, leaving early, or who needs to step out of class (as in an emergency) should do so with minimal class disruption.
- Every student is expected to focus on the class lesson. Students should refrain from doing work for other classes, eating, drinking, sleeping, or having conversations. Phones, laptops, and other electronic devices should only be used for class purposes.
- Students are expected to use appropriate language in class, and address instructors and other students with civility.
- Students must silence all cell phones prior to the start of class.
- Visitors are only allowed with the permission from the instructor, and children are not permitted in class at any time.
Procedures for Responding to Classroom Misconduct
The college recognizes that faculty members are responsible for effective management of the classroom environment to promote conditions that will enhance student learning. Accordingly, instructors should set reasonable rules for classroom behavior and must articulate these rules, in writing, in materials provided to the students at the start of the semester. Fortunately, student obstructions or disruptions in Westchester Community College classrooms are rare and seldom lead to disciplinary actions. The term “classroom disruption” means behavior that a reasonable person would view as substantially or repeatedly interfering with the conduct of a class. Examples could include persistently speaking without being recognized, continuing with conversations distracting the class or, in extreme cases, resorting to physical threats or personal insults.
Lawful, civil expression of disagreement with the instructor or other students is not in itself “disruptive behavior” and is not proscribed under these or any other regulations. However, when student conduct interferes with or prevents the conduct of classes or other college functions or when the safety of members of the campus community is endangered by threats of disruption, violence, or violent acts, faculty members may take the following actions.
Note: The following should not be viewed as an explicit steps-based procedure. It is intended to help guide faculty response and offer options for addressing incidents of classroom disruption.
- If a student is disruptive in class, the faculty member should ask the student to stop. The faculty member may also warn the student that continuing such disruptive behavior could result in additional academic or college disciplinary action. Many students may be unaware that their behavior is disruptive; therefore, a private conversation with the student is often effective and preferable as an initial step.
- When in the faculty’s best judgement, a student’s disruptive behavior creates a safety risk and/or makes it impossible for a class or function to continue without further disruption, the faculty member is authorized to ask the student to leave the classroom. A faculty member may only ask a student to leave for the remainder of that class period and not for future class sessions. When possible, faculty members should issue a warning to the student prior to instructing them to leave the class.
- A student who complied with the instruction to leave and who, in the best judgment of the faculty member, does not pose a safety concern or reasonable risk for future class disruptions, does not need to be reported to the Associate Dean of Student Life. It is recommended that the instructor follow up with a student before the next class session to address the incident and the student’s readiness to return to the class.
- A student who complied with the instruction to leave and who, in the best judgment of the faculty member, poses a safety concern or reasonable risk for future class disruptions, should be reported to the Associate Dean of Student Life and/or Campus Security.
- If a student refuses to leave the area after being instructed to do so, the student should be informed that this refusal is a separate violation subject to additional penalties. If the student still refuses to leave after this instruction and, in the faculty member’s best judgment, the behavior creates a safety risk or makes it impossible to continue the class or function, the faculty should contact Campus Security (914-606-6911) to assist in removal of the student and/or may dismiss class for that day. In these circumstances, the faculty member is encouraged to file a report with the Associate Dean of Student Life.
Note: For emergency situations, when the faculty member believes there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others in the classroom the faculty member should:
- Valhalla campus: Campus Security at (914-606-6911) and/or dismiss the class for the day.
- Classroom not located on the Valhalla campus: Dismiss the class for the day, call 911 for a police emergency response and/or notify any onsite security personnel.
Available Campus Resources & Support
Faculty members may reach out for support and assistance from one or more of the following when addressing disruptive classroom behavior:
- Department Chair. The department chair may offer guidance on additional classroom management strategies/techniques and/or offer to meet with the disruptive student. If the Department Chair has a meeting with the student, they should warn the student that further disruption may result in academic or disciplinary action. The Department Chair should refer the student to the Student Code of Conduct, encourage them to read it, and inform them that further disruptions will result in a referral through the College’s formal conduct process.
- Academic Counseling. An Academic Counselor can ensure that the student is aware of in-class expectations as well possibly address other areas of academic concern (e.g. class preparedness, attendance, lateness, academic support services, etc.). Faculty members may contact Academic Counseling at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 914-606-6572. However, the preferred method of contact through the online referral form found at www.sunywcc.edu/student-services/counseling/personal-counseling/counselor-resources/referral-form-struggling-students
- Personal Counseling Department. The Personal Counseling Department can help address any mental health concerns a faculty member may have about a student. Faculty members may contact Personal Counseling at email@example.com or at 914-606-7857. However, the preferred method of contact is through the online referral form, found here: www.sunywcc.edu/student-services/counseling/personal-counseling/facultystaff-referral-form
- Disability Services. The Disability Services Office can help address concerns about in-class accommodations and/or offer advice and guidance for the faculty member about how to support a student with a disability in their class if they are creating disruptions. Faculty members may contact Disability Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 914-606-7893.
- Associate Dean of Student Life. For non-emergency situations when, in the faculty member’s best judgment, a student’s behavior creates a safety risk and/or makes it impossible for a class or function to continue for the semester without further disruption, the faculty should complete a report with the Office of the Associate Dean of Student Life for possible adjudication as detailed in the Student Code of Conduct.
Reports made to the Associate Dean of Student Life should generally be made for on-going and/or unreasonable classroom disruptions that persist after attempts to mitigate and/or resolve the disruptions through classroom management strategies/techniques have been attempted.
Faculty members may contact the Office of the Associate Dean of Student Life at email@example.com or at 914-606-7857. However, the preferred method of contact is through the online referral form, which can be found at www.sunywcc.edu/incidentreport and clicking on the General Incident Reporting Form link. In the report, the faculty member should detail all of the interventions and steps taken to mitigate and address the disruption prior to notification to the Associate Dean of Student Life. The Associate Dean of Student Life will determine if a report will continue through the student conduct process.
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 Code of Conduct. For further information, and for procedures followed in cases of student misconduct, see the Student Code of Conduct section of this document.
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 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (914-606-6733), located in the Student Center. At that time, the student will be advised of the next step to be taken.
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 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 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 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 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 Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. In cases of alleged discrimination based on gender, the grievance also will be forwarded to the Title IX 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
|Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
||Associate Dean of Enrollment Management
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.
Involuntary Withdrawal Policy
The college maintains a Health Services Office and Personal Counseling Department. These units serve the medical and psychological needs of students. Students whose needs are beyond the scope of care of these offices will be referred to off-campus resources whenever possible. However, students who cannot adequately be helped by the available services and whose behavior poses a threat to: (a) the health or safety of others; (b) of significant property damage; and/or (c) of significantly disrupting college operations and functions, may be subject to an involuntary withdrawal from the college. To make this determination, the college may require the student to complete an individualized assessment to determine if there exists a high probability that the student may cause harm to others, destruction of property and/or disruption to the community. After making an individualized assessment, the college may request and/or require the student to withdraw or may impose conditions or restrictions designed to address the identified threats.
This policy is not intended to be disciplinary in nature, but to support the student and to maintain the safety and lawful activity and order of the college community.
When, in the sole discretion of either the college’s CARE Team, the behavior of a student poses a threat to the health or safety of others and/or to the functioning of the college, the student may be required to participate in a violence risk assessment, medical assessment, or psychological assessment. The student must initiate the assessment process within 48 hours of being informed that an assessment is required. Trained college personnel may conduct assessments. An external evaluator with the approval of the VPSAIS or designee may conduct the assessment; the college will provide the external evaluator with information about the student’s status on campus with a release.
As part of the assessment, the student may be requested to release information from medical and/or psychological practitioners who have previously treated her/him; other campus resources may also provide information.
A student, when directed to participate in an assessment may be subject to interim separation from the college, as determined by the CARE Team, VPSAIS or designee. During an interim separation, students are denied access to college premises (including classes). The interim separation will be in effect until there is a final resolution as to the outcome of the assessment as determined by the VPSAIS.
When, based on the assessment the student presents a high probability of harm to others and/or destruction of property and/or disruption to the community, and in the opinion of a professional member of the Personal Counseling or Health Services departments, a student’s needs are beyond the scope of care of these offices, the student may be involuntarily withdrawn.
A student who is involuntarily withdrawn is unable to register for and attend classes, participate in any college activities, or be present on college property.
The VPSAIS will review appropriate documentation, which may include a recommendation from the CARE Team, and
If an administrative withdrawal is initiated, a grade of “W” will be assigned for all classes. A grade of “W” does not affect a student’s GPA.
Returning to the College
Students are not eligible to return the same semester an involuntary withdrawal was initiated. A student who has been administratively withdrawn may make a request to return by providing the following:
- A written statement with a request for return.
- Documentation completed and signed by a licensed mental health counselor, licensed clinical social worker, licensed clinical psychologist, or a board certified psychiatrist that details:
- Scope of treatment provided, to include: duration, frequency, number of sessions, assessments and interventions used, and compliance with treatment.
- Documented action plan for continued support/treatment.
- The provider’s recommendation for student’s ability to return to college, specifically identifying evidenced improvements as they pertain to reasons for the involuntary withdrawal.
- Evidence that any other conditions for return, as determined by the VPSAIS, have been completed.
The student may also be required to participate in additional assessments before being eligible to return.
The college will not consider the application of the return of a student who is involuntarily withdrawn until it receives all of the above. The CARE Team, including personnel in Personal Counseling, Student Support Services and/or Health Services, may be asked by the VPSAIS to evaluate relevant documentation. The VPSAIS or designee reserves the right to request additional documentation, if deemed necessary. The VPSAIS or designee will determine, in his/her sole discretion, if the student is eligible to return. The VPSAIS or designee may designate conditions or restrictions for the student’s return. The decision of the VPSAIS or designee is final.
If, based on the submitted documentation a student is deemed able to return, the hold placed will be removed on the student’s account and the student will be eligible to take classes the next semester.
If a student is deemed not eligible to return, the student may resubmit their request to return to the campus the following semester.
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 community 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: https://ope.ed.gov/campussafety
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, injuries, or other medical emergencies; techniques on how to avoid becoming a crime victim; and lists of resources are available to students and employees online, visit www.sunywcc.edu/security for more information
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 is forbidden. Infractions will result in serious disciplinary action: students could be expelled and 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 the Health Services Office in the Student Center, room 181, 914-606-6610 or the Personal Counseling Department in the Student Center, rooms 225/226, firstname.lastname@example.org or at 914-606-7784. 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. Further information about college disciplinary violations and proceedings for students can be found in the Student Code of Conduct found at www.sunywcc.edu/codeofconduct.
Tobacco- and Vape-free Campus
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, the use of tobacco products, vaping devices, electronic cigarettes, and other nicotine delivery devices is prohibited in all Westchester Community College facilities and outdoor areas. For details about this policy please visit www.sunywcc.edu/tobacco-vape-free.
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.