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 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
An essential interest of Westchester Community College is in establishing and maintaining an appropriate learning environment, maximizing the educational benefit to all students, maintaining an atmosphere of safety and comfort, and clarifying the instructor and students’ expectations of classroom conduct. As such, the college has identified the following expectations for student conduct in a classroom:
- 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.
Students are 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.
In the classroom and in all course related communications, students are expected to use appropriate language 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 permission from the instructor, and children are not permitted in class at any time.
- For online/virtual platforms: 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 email to the instructor.
Students have the right to express themselves and participate freely in a class. 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 a student’s conduct in the classroom substantially or repeatedly interferes with the normal operations of a class (i.e., becomes disruptive) the college may take action to ensure the integrity of the classroom. These actions can range from a verbal or written warning to removal from a class for that session or for the remainder of the term. A student who is removed from a classroom for the remainder of a term will receive a grade of “W” on their transcript and will forfeit any tuition and fees associated with the class.
A link to this policy should be placed in all course syllabi.
Procedures for Responding to Classroom Misconduct
STEP 1: INSTRUCTOR RESPONSE
The college recognizes that faculty members are responsible for effective management of the classroom environment that 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 disruptions in WCC classrooms are rare and they seldom lead to disciplinary actions. However, when student behavior is disruptive, an instructor will inform the student as to the inappropriateness of the behavior and ask that the identified behavior cease. The instructor may also warn the student that continuing such behavior could result in their removal from the class. Many students may be unaware that their behavior is inappropriate; therefore, a warning and/or a private conversation with a student is often an effective initial step. Instructors are also encouraged to refer a student to available campus resources for additional support that the student may need (see AVAILABLE CAMPUS RESOURCES & SUPPORT for more information).
If the inappropriate behavior persists in the same class session after the instructor has repeatedly addressed the student behavior with them, the instructor may inform the student they need to leave the class for the remainder of that session. If a student refuses to leave after being instructed to do so, the student should be informed that Security will be called. If the student still refuses to leave after this notification, the instructor should contact WCC Security at 914-606-6911. The instructor should meet with the student prior to the next scheduled class to discuss appropriate classroom behavior.
NOTE: If, in the instructor’s best professional judgment, the student’s behavior creates an imminent threat of harm to self or other members of the class, the instructor may dismiss the entire class for that session and immediately contact Security at 914-606-6911 to report the incident.
STEP 2: MEETING WITH DEPARTMENT CHAIR
If the behavior persists after repeated attempts by the instructor to correct the disruptive behavior over multiple course sessions, the instructor will submit a signed and dated written statement detailing a description of the disruptive behavior, the dates which it occurred, and the interventions they attempted to their Department Chair. The Department Chair may either work with the instructor to strategize new interventions or may meet with the student and instructor together.
If the Department Chair selects a meeting they must send written notification to the student that includes: (a) a copy of the statement from the instructor and (b) the date and time of a scheduled meeting between the student, Department Chair and the instructor – the student must be given at least three (3) business days’ notice of the meeting with an opportunity to request the meeting be rescheduled.
At the meeting, the Department Chair, instructor, and student will try to mutually resolve the issue. The student will be able to present information and evidence on their own behalf about the incident(s) in class. The Department Chair and instructor may recommend to the student that they be moved to another section of the same course, allow a student to finish a course remotely, or impose other appropriate measures that addresses the disruptive behavior and allows a student to continue in the course. The student, instructor and Department Chair must unanimously agree to these conditions. When agreed to by all parties, the Department Chair will send a confirmation to the student in writing.
If a unanimous resolution is not reached at this meeting and the instructor and Department Chair believe, in their best professional judgment, that the student’s continued presence in the classroom causes significant disruption to the class that would substantially interfere with the normal operations of the class, the student may be removed from the class for the remainder of the term. If this decision is made, the student will receive a notice in writing from the Department Chair and have three (3) business days to appeal their removal from the class to their respective School Review Committee, inclusive of instructions of how to do so.
NOTE: If the student does not attend a scheduled meeting with the Department Chair and instructor, the Department Chair may reschedule the meeting or review the case with the instructor using the information available. If the instructor and department chair believe, in their best professional judgment, that the student’s continued presence in the classroom causes significant disruption to the class that would substantially interfere with the normal operations of the class, the student may be removed from the class for the remainder of the term. If this decision is made, the student will receive a notice in writing from the Department Chair and have two (2) business days to appeal their removal from the class to their respective School Review Committee, inclusive of instructions of how to do so.
STEP 3: STUDENT APPEAL (IF APPLICABLE)
To appeal the Decision of the Department Chair and instructor to remove a student from a class, the student must complete an Appeal to Class Removal form found at www.sunywcc.edu/appealclassremoval. The student may provide a written statement as to why they are appealing the decision and any evidence in support of their appeal.
Upon receipt of the appeal, a School Dean will convene their School Review Committee within three (3) business days from the time the appeal was received. The School Review Committee will request a written statement from the instructor and/or Department Chair along with any documentation they wish to provide in support of their decision to remove the student from the class. The School Review Committee may uphold the decision of the instructor to remove the student or overturn the decision of the instructor and allow the student to return to the next class session. The School Review Committee may require reasonable conditions for the student’s return. The decision of the School Review Committee is final.
A student who is appealing a decision will not be permitted to return to the classroom until the School Review Committee makes a final decision.
STEP 4: REPORTING TO STUDENT LIFE
At the conclusion of the process, a Classroom Disruption Incident Report form found at www.sunywcc.edu/incidentreport should be completed. If the student does not appeal, the instructor should submit the report. If the student does appeal, the School Dean, as Chair of the School Review Committee, should submit the report. The report should include all documentation related or reviewed in the case.
At the sole discretion of the Office of Student Life, the student can be referred through the college conduct process for possible college sanctions as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
Available Campus Resources & Support
Instructors may reach out for support and assistance from one or more of the following when addressing disruptive classroom behavior:
Classroom Recording Policy
Unless otherwise specified as part of a disabilities accommodation*, students may not record, reproduce, screenshot, photograph, or distribute any video, audio, or visual content from their courses taught in any modality, including remote/online courses without the written permission of the instructor. This restriction includes but is not limited to:
- Pre-recorded and live lectures
- Live discussions
- Discussion boards
- Posted course materials
- Faculty feedback forms
- Visual materials that accompany lectures/discussions, such as slides
- Virtual whiteboard notes/equations, etc.
A student found to be in violation of this policy can be referred through the college conduct process for possible college sanctions (including warning, probation, suspension, or expulsion) as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
*Any case for class recordings that is deemed necessary under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA of 1990 needs to be properly documented and presented to the instructor prior to any recordings being made. Such requests for these accommodations must be made and approved through the college’s Disability Services Office. Additionally, any materials obtained through this accommodation must be limited to personal academic study and review use only and may not be distributed to any other persons without the instructor’s written consent.
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.
Involuntary Withdrawal Policy
Students whose behavior poses a threat to (a) the health or safety of others or oneself; (b) significant property damage; and/or (c) significantly disrupting college operations and functions, may be subject to an involuntary withdrawal from the College. To make this determination, the college will conduct an individualized assessment to determine: (a) the nature, duration, and severity of the risk of harm; (b) the probability that the risk of harm will actually occur; and (c) whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures will sufficiently mitigate the risk.
If the college determines that no reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures can be implemented to address identified threats, a student may be involuntarily withdrawn from the college.
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.
Implications of an Involuntary Withdrawal
A student who is involuntarily withdrawn is unable to:
- register for and attend classes;
- participate in any college activities;
- be present on college property;
- qualify for a tuition refund appeal.
In addition, a student will receive a grade of “W” for courses in which they are currently enrolled. A grade of “W” does not affect a student’s GPA.
Students who are involuntarily withdrawn are not eligible to return the same semester* an involuntary withdrawal was initiated.
A hold will be placed on a student’s account preventing them from registering for classes or taking any further enrollment activity.
Procedures for Review and Outcome
Recognizing the uniqueness of individuals and situations within the college community, the WCC CARE Team will conduct an individualized assessment for students who may pose a threat to: (a) the health or safety of others or oneself; (b) of significant property damage; and/or (c) of significantly disrupting college operations and functions. A student will receive written notice that will include: (a) the reason(s) why the student is being requested to complete an assessment; (b) possible outcomes from the assessment; and (c) information how to access this policy. In the written notice, the student will be encouraged to respond and provide any documentation or other information in support of their response. The student will be given five (5) business days to respond.
A student may be issued interim restrictions or conditions, up to and including an interim separation from the College, as determined by the CARE Team, VPSAIS or designee, when it is believed that they pose an immediate threat to any or all of the following: (a) the health or safety of others or oneself; (b) of significant property damage; and/or (c) of significantly disrupting college operations and functions. Interim restrictions or conditions, including interim separation, will be in effect until there is a final resolution as to the outcome of the process, up to and including the conclusion of an appeal. During an interim separation, a student is denied access to college premises and may not participate in college programs or activities, including participation in classes.
The objective of the individualized assessment process is to gather information to allow the college to determine: (The individualized assessment process may include, but is not limited to, any or all of the following:
- Mandatory participation in a violence risk assessment or psychological assessment. The CARE Team, Vice President of Student Access, Involvement and Success or designee may initiate this mandate.
These assessments may be conducted by trained college personnel.
Students or the CARE Team may also opt to have an external evaluator, who is approved by the CARE Team or designee, conduct a mandated assessment. The college will provide the external evaluator with information about the student’s status on campus with a release to allow for communication between the CARE Team and the external provider. Any expense related to an external evaluator will be the responsibility of the student.
- A student may be requested to release information to the CARE Team from a health care provider who currently or has previously treated them.
- Review of information related to the student’s academic/college record, including, but not limited to: academic performance (i.e., grades, attendance, class participation/behavior), conduct records, utilization of support services, incident reports from campus officials/offices, etc.
- Review of information obtained by or provided to the CARE Team from the student or an outside community organization (i.e., law enforcement, prior institutions attended, etc.).
Using the information available from the individualized assessment and other available supporting documentation/information, the CARE Team will determine:
(a) the nature, duration, and severity of the risk of harm; (b) the probability that the risk of harm will actually occur; and (c) whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures will sufficiently mitigate the risk.The CARE Team will base their determination on observable behaviors, not on a diagnosis.
The CARE Team may impose any of the following outcomes:
(a) the student may continue or immediately return to campus with or without modifications, restrictions, or other conditions; or (b) the student will be involuntarily withdrawn from the college for a prescribed period of time with or without specified conditions for return and will only be allowed to return to the college after establishing that their behavior no longer constitutes a direct or substantial threat.
The student will be given written notification as to the decision of the CARE Team and informed of their right to appeal the decision to the Vice President of Student Access, Involvement and Success (VPSAIS) or designee. The student will be told they have up to two (2) business days to file a written appeal.
The written request for appeal must specify the particular substantive and/or procedural basis for the appeal and must be made on grounds other than general dissatisfaction with the decision of the CARE Team.
The review by the VPSAIS or designee will be limited to the following considerations:
- New Information: is there new information not previously available to the student that may change the outcome of the decision?
- Procedural Errors: Were there any procedural irregularities that materially affected the outcome?
- Unreasonable Decision: Given the proper facts, criteria, and procedures, was the decision a reasonable one?
After reviewing the matter fully, the VPSAIS or designee will issue a written decision affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision. The decision of the VPSAIS or designee shall be final.
Procedures for Returning to the College
A student who has been involuntarily withdrawn may make a request to return after their prescribed period of withdrawal by providing the following:
- A written statement with a request for return.
- A completed Treatment Provider Report, that is completed in the format prescribed by the CARE Team and signed by a licensed health professional, that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
a. Treatment goals and progress made in treatment toward goals (if any).
b. Information that helps the college determine the following: (a) the nature, duration, and severity of the original risk of harm; (b) the probability that the original risk of harm will actually occur; and (c) whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures will sufficiently mitigate the risks.
c. Other recommendations for services and/or accommodations to promote student’s success at Westchester Community College.
- Evidence that any other conditions for return, as determined by the CARE Team and/or VPSAIS or designee, have been completed.
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 will evaluate relevant documentation received. The CARE Team reserves the right to request additional documentation, if deemed necessary. The CARE Team will determine, in their discretion, if the student is eligible to return. The CARE Team may designate conditions or restrictions for the student’s return. The decision of the CARE Team is final.
If a student is deemed able to return, the student will be eligible to return to the campus and take classes the following semester* from the time their completed request to return was received.
If a student is deemed ineligible to return, the student may resubmit their request to return to the campus the following semester* from the time their completed request to return was received.
*For the purposes of this policy, a semester is defined as one of the following:
(1) fall semester; (2) spring semester and (3) a collective of all summer sessions.
Winter session/term, for this policy, is considered part of the fall 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
Westchester Community College is committed to maintaining an environment that supports academic success and personal wellness for all members of our college community. The misuse of alcohol and illegal drugs interferes with the college’s goal of fostering a healthy and safe learning and work environment and can have a devastating effect on all members of the community. In accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, Westchester Community College maintains a program to prevent the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession and use of illegal drugs or alcohol by students and employees.
A complete and accurate copy of the Drug & Alcohol Policy can be found at www.sunywcc.edu/policies.
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.
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.