Moraine Valley Community College || Code of Conduct Office || Code of Student Conduct

Code of Student Conduct

Adopted: Jan. 1, 1994
Revised: Aug. 2006; 2012; 2014

I. Purpose

The mission of our college is to educate the whole person in a learning-centered environment, recognizing our responsibilities to one another, to our community, and to the world we share. Consistent with our mission and core values of integrity, responsibility, respect, fairness and diversity, it is expected that students will govern themselves appropriately. The college recognizes a student's right within the institution to freedom of speech, inquiry and assembly, to the peaceful pursuit of an education, and to the reasonable use of services and facilities of the college.

The Code of Student Conduct (“the Code”) defines standards of conduct and establishes procedures to provide a full and fair opportunity for review of alleged student misconduct.

The Code reasonably limits some activities and prohibits certain behaviors, which could interfere with the orderly operation of the college and the pursuit of its goals. Each student is responsible for knowledge of and compliance with the Code, which is available through the Student Life Office (U115). The College further recognizes each student's right to procedural due process, including notice and a fair hearing.

II. Jurisdiction

The Vice President of Student Development is responsible for developing policies, procedures, and regulations concerning student conduct at Moraine Valley Community College. The Code is implemented and enforced under the direction of the Vice President of Student Development through the Dean of Student Services and the Assistant Dean of Code of Conduct and Student Life. The Assistant Dean is specifically responsible for the administration of the student conduct process.

The Code applies to conduct that occurs on college premises, to conduct at college-sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that materially and substantially interferes with the college's operational and educational programs or the safety and welfare of the college community.

Each student is responsible for his/her conduct from the time of application for admission to the college through the award of a degree/certificate or such other time as there is a formal termination of the student relationship. Each student is responsible for conduct occurring during the academic year and during periods between terms of enrollment.

Matters of academic integrity are reviewed and enforced under the exclusive direction of the Dean of Academic Services. The Code of Academic Integrity and the Academic Integrity Violation Process are located in the college catalog. Students engaged in acts that may constitute both academic dishonesty as well as misconduct as defined by the Code may be subject to sanction under both authorities.

III. Definitions

  1. Accused student is an individual against whom a complaint is filed.
  2. Appeals body means any person or persons authorized by the Assistant Dean to review any case that is appealed by a student to ensure college policies and practices have been followed.
    • Appeals board is an appeals body comprised of no less than three panelists, including faculty, staff and students.
  3. Assistant Dean means the Assistant Dean, Code of Conduct and Student Life or designee.
  4. College means Moraine Valley Community College.
  5. College day is defined as any day excluding Saturdays, Sundays, or any holidays recognized by the college.
  6. College premises include all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used or controlled by the college (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
  7. College-sponsored activity means any activity on or off college premises that is directly initiated or supervised by the college, including field trips, athletic events, and student conferences/ competitions.
  8. Complainant is an individual who files a complaint alleging a violation of the Code.
  9. Faculty member means all full- or part-time teachers, counselors, librarians, Testing Center technicians, and advisors, excluding interns and student teachers.
  10. May is used in the permissive sense.
  11. Member of the college community includes any person who is a student, faculty member, college official, or visitor. A person's status in a particular situation will be determined by the Assistant Dean.
  12. Official includes any person employed, contracted or appointed by the college to perform assigned administrative or professional staff responsibilities.
  13. Policies mean the written regulations of the college as found in but not limited to the college catalog, the Code of Student Conduct, the college website, course syllabi, library policies, and posted area rules.
  14. Sanction means an outcome imposed for a violation of the Code.
  15. Student means any individual taking courses at the college, either full- or part-time, including individuals who withdraw during the student conduct process, those who are not currently enrolled in courses but who have a continuing academic relationship with the college, and those who have applied for admission or readmission to the college.
  16. Student conduct body means any person or persons authorized by the Assistant Dean to determine whether a student has violated the Code and to impose appropriate sanctions.
    • Community Standards Board is a student conduct body comprised of no less than three panelists, including faculty, staff, and students.
    • Student conduct administrator means the Assistant Dean, Coordinator of Code of Conduct, and any other college staff member trained to adjudicate cases of alleged violations of the Code.
  17. Student conduct process means the procedures for the resolution of Code violations, including the filing of a complaint, notice of charges and hearing, hearings, notice of final decisions, sanctioning, and the appeal process.
  18. Student conduct record is any hard copy or electronic record directly related to a student concerning the investigation, adjudication or imposition of sanctions with respect to a violation of the Code. Student conduct records are maintained by the Assistant Dean.
  19. Student organization is any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for college recognition, including clubs and organizations registered through the Student Life Office and athletic teams recognized by the Athletics Office.
  20. Will is used in the imperative sense.

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IV. Prohibited Conduct

The student conduct process may be initiated by the college and sanctions imposed against any student or student organization found responsible for committing, attempting to commit, or assisting in the commission of any of the following prohibited forms of conduct.

  1. Acts of dishonesty, including, but not limited to:
    • Furnishing false or misleading information to any college official, faculty member or office.
    • Forgery, alteration or misuse of any college document, record, form, or instrument of identification.
    • Alteration or sabotage of another student's work, such as tampering with laboratory experiments.
    • Tampering with the election of any college recognized student organization or the student trustee election.
    • The misuse or unauthorized use of college funds or student organization funds.
    • Misrepresenting oneself as a college official.
  2. Disruption or obstruction of any operation of the college including, but not limited to, teaching, student conduct proceedings, college activities, public service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-college activities, when the act occurs on college premises.
  3. Any act that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person including, but not limited to, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, intimate partner violence, and stalking.
  4. Sexual harassment, which includes any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or any misconduct of a sexual nature. For more information, see Sexual Harassment, Misconduct and Discrimination Policy.
  5. Conduct performed in such an unreasonable manner as to alarm another and to provoke a breach of the peace, including reporting a false emergency or threat.
  6. Theft of, tampering with, and/or damage to college property or property of a college community member, or possessing stolen property.
  7. Failure to comply with the direction of college officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
  8. Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any college premises, or unauthorized entry to, occupancy of, or use of college premises.
  9. Violation of any college policy.
  10. Violation of federal, state or local law whether on or off campus, when such violation has or may have an adverse impact on the college community.
  11. Gambling in any form.
  12. Use, possession, manufacturing or distribution of any controlled substance, drug, or other chemical substance except as expressly permitted by law, or possession of drug paraphernalia.
  13. Use, possession, manufacturing, distribution or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by college regulations), as well as public intoxication. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by or distributed to any person under twenty-one (21) years of age.
  14. Arson or illegal or unauthorized use or possession of fireworks, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or other objects that could cause damage by fire or explosion to persons or property.
  15. Participation in a campus demonstration which disrupts the normal operations of the college and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the college community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area.
  16. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or endangering the safety of individuals on college premises, within college buildings or at college-sponsored or supervised functions.
  17. Conduct which is disorderly, lewd, indecent or obscene.
  18. Theft or other abuse of college computing resources, including, but not limited to:
    • Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read or change the contents, or for any other purpose;
    • Unauthorized transfer of a file;
    • Use of an another individual's identification and password;
    • Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of a student, faculty member or college official;
    • Use of computing facilities to interfere with operation of the college computing systems;
    • Unauthorized use or sharing of copyrighted material;
    • Installation or use of a program whose effect is to damage the media or files;
    • Unauthorized use of computer time for personal or business purposes;
    • Use of the computer system to send obscene, abusive or inappropriate messages; or
    • Unauthorized or inappropriate use of a computer.
  19. Unauthorized or inappropriate use of college telephones, facsimile (fax) machines, copier machines, printers or any other office communication devices.
  20. Unauthorized or inappropriate use of the Internet from a computer on campus or at a designated campus facility.
  21. Unauthorized use of cellular phones and other personal electronic devices in all instructional areas including all labs and classrooms during instructional sessions, the library, and the Testing Center.
  22. Leaving children unattended on college premises or bringing children to unauthorized areas, including classrooms.
  23. Abuse of the student conduct process, including, but not limited to:
    • Failure to comply with a request to attend a meeting with a student conduct body;
    • Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information before a student conduct body;
    • Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a student conduct proceeding;
    • Knowingly initiating a false complaint;
    • Attempting to discourage a person’s participation in or use of the student conduct process;
    • Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a student conduct body prior to and/or during the course of the student conduct proceeding;
    • Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a student conduct body prior to, during and/or after a student conduct proceeding;
    • Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Code;
    • Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student conduct process; or
    • Retaliating or engaging in any threatening behavior against a complainant.
  24. Unauthorized use of any form of technology for the purpose of photographing, videotaping or recording individuals in private areas such as restrooms or locker rooms or the unauthorized or illegal photographing, videotaping or recording of individuals against their will or knowledge.
  25. Planning or facilitating, being present during the commission of, or supporting or encouraging an act of misconduct.
  26. Hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or which destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a student organization or other student group. The expressed or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of this rule.
  27. The use, possession, or carrying of weapons, including but not limited to, pistols, rifles, shotguns, airsoft guns, paintball guns, pellet guns, dangerous knives, ammunition, any stun device, or other dangerous weapons.

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V. Violation of Federal, State, or Local Laws and College Discipline

College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violated a federal, state or local law which is also a violation of this Code; that is, if both violations result from the same factual situation without regard to pending civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under the Code will not be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of college rules were dismissed, reduced, or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.

In other cases, college discipline may be imposed on students charged with an off-campus violation of federal, state or local laws, but not with any other violation of the Code of Student Conduct. This action is necessary to provide for the safety and welfare of the college community. Disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed only for grave misconduct that demonstrates flagrant disregard for the college community. In such cases, no sanction may be imposed unless the student has been found guilty in a court of law or has declined to contest such charges, although not actually admitting guilt.

When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, the college will not request or agree to special consideration from federal, state or local authorities for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also the subject of a proceeding before a judicial body under the Code, then the college may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Code and of how such matters will be handled within the college community. The college will attempt to cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators who are also students. Individual students and faculty members, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives as they consider appropriate.

VI. Student Organization Responsibility

Student organizations are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the college’s function as an educational institution. Student organizations must observe all federal, state and local laws and college policies, including the Code, both on and off campus. A student group will be responsible for the actions and conduct of its members when one or more of its members, acting in the capacity of their membership, commit a violation of the Code. Student organizations found in violation of the Code will be subject to student conduct procedures and sanctions in the same manner as individual students, except that student organizations cannot be permanently separated from the college.

Any Notice of Complaint regarding alleged misconduct involving a student organization will be delivered to the president or other officers and to the organization’s advisor. Student organizations are responsible for responding to all Notices of Complaint and failure to respond may result in resolution of the matter in the absence of any representative of the organization.

A complaint filed against a student organization does not preclude the possibility of complaints being filed against any or all individual students involved in the alleged misconduct.

VII. Student Conduct Authority

  1. The Assistant Dean will determine the composition of student conduct and appeal bodies and will determine which student conduct body and/or appeal body will be authorized to hear each case.
  2. The Assistant Dean will develop procedures for the administration of the student conduct program and rules for the conduct of hearings that are consistent with provisions of the Code.
  3. Decisions made by the student conduct body will be final, pending the normal appeal process.
  4. A student conduct body may be designated as arbiter/mediator of disputes within the student community in cases that do not involve a violation of the Code. All parties must agree to arbitration/mediation and to be bound by the decision with no right to appeal.

VIII. Student Conduct Proceedings

  • Charges and Hearings
    1. Any member of the college community may File a Complaint or Report against any student for misconduct. Complaints will be prepared in writing and directed to the Assistant Dean, who is responsible for the administration for the college student conduct process. Any complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place.
    2. The Assistant Dean will act as or appoint a student conduct body, which will determine if the charges warrant an investigation. If the complaint is not found to warrant an investigation, it will be dismissed.
    3. If the complaint warrants an investigation, a Notice of Complaint will be sent to the accused student via his/her Moraine Valley email account, the college’s official means of communication. Students are expected to check their email accounts regularly. The Notice of Complaint will include:
      • A summary of the alleged misconduct;
      • The specific section of the Code that may have been violated; and
      • A date by which the accused student must respond to schedule a hearing with a student conduct administrator.
      Upon receipt of the Notice of Complaint, the accused student must schedule the hearing by the specified date. If a student fails to schedule the hearing by the specified date, the student conduct administrator will send a second notice to the student via email indicating that a hearing has been scheduled for normally no less than three college days after the date of the second notice.
    4. Any student may seek advice about the Code, hearing procedures, and/or student rights and responsibilities from Code of Conduct Office staff at any time. Any student who wishes to have an advisor assigned to them may request one from the Assistant Dean reasonably in advance of any hearing. Assigned advisors may be faculty, staff or students who are trained by Code of Conduct Office staff. Students may not delay the regular student conduct process with failed or untimely efforts to secure an advisor.
    5. Hearings are conducted by a student conduct body to provide the accused student an opportunity to respond directly to the alleged violation and to offer a response. The hearing is an educational forum designed to enable the student conduct body to determine if there has been a violation of the Code. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in the student conduct process. Hearings will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
      • hearings normally will be conducted in private;
      • admission of any person to the hearing will be at the discretion of the student conduct body;
      • in hearings involving more than one accused student, the student conduct body may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately;
      • the complainant and the accused student have the right to be assisted by any advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisor may be an attorney. The complainant and/or the accused student is responsible for presenting his or her own case and, therefore, while advisors may be present, they are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a student conduct body;
      • the complainant, the accused student and the student conduct body will have the privilege of presenting witnesses at the discretion of the student conduct body. All witnesses may be subject to cross-questioning;
      • pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as information at the discretion of the student conduct body;
      • all procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the student conduct body;
      • at the conclusion of the hearing, the student conduct body will determine (by majority vote if the body consists of more than one person) whether the student violated each section of the Code that the student was alleged to have violated;
      • the body's determination will be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Code.
    6. If the body determines that the accused student has not violated the Code, the body will dismiss the case. The student will be notified in writing of its determination, and the incident will not become part of the student’s disciplinary history.
    7. If the body determines that a student has violated the Code, the body will collectively determine appropriate sanctions. Following the hearing, the Assistant Dean will advise the accused student in writing of its determination and of the sanctions, if any.
    8. There will be a record of all hearings maintained by the Assistant Dean. Community Standards Board hearings will be audio-recorded. Access is limited to reviewing the record only on the college premises. The record will be the property of the college.
    9. Except in the case of a student charged with failing to comply with a request to attend a meeting with a student conduct body, no student may be found to have violated the Code solely because the student failed to appear. In all cases, if an accused student, with notice, does not appear at a hearing, the information in support of the complaint shall be presented and considered, and the hearing will proceed in the student’s absence.
    10. The student conduct body may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, wellbeing and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, accused student, and/or other witnesses during the hearing by providing separate facilities, video technology, telephone, or other means approved by the Assistant Dean.
  • Sanctions
    1. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Code. All sanctions will be issued in writing.
      • Warning — a notice that the student has violated the Code and that any repetition of the behavior will result in more severe sanctions.
      • Probation — a written reprimand that expires automatically after a specified time but includes the probability of a more severe sanction if a student violated the code again during the probationary period.
      • Loss of privileges — denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
      • Fines — a user fee or monetary penalty
      • Restitution — compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
      • Educational sanctions — reflection, research or other written assignments, apology letters, workshops, programs, or other assignments designed to educate a student of the potential impact of student misconduct and to prevent reoccurrence.
      • Discretionary sanctions — work assignments, service to the college or neighboring communities, or other related discretionary assignments.
      • Limited access — administrative restriction to selected parts/locations of campus sites.
      • No contact order — student is prohibited from having any contact with specified member(s) of the college community due to a conflict or perceived threat. Means of contact include face-to-face, email, social media, and telephone. Friends, relatives, and other acquaintances are also prohibited from contact on behalf of either party.
      • Withdrawal from class — administrative withdrawal with consequent loss of tuition and fees from a class or classes.
      • Hold — a block on a student’s privileges, such as registering for classes or obtaining transcripts.
      • Referral — an order to access or utilize a campus resource or service, such as Counseling and Career Development Center, Academic Advising, Center for Disability Services, Student Life.
      • Parental notification — a letter or phone call notifying a parent or guardian of a student who is under 21 years old (at the time the letter is sent) that he/she has committed a violation of law or college policy pertaining to drugs or alcohol.
      • Deferred suspension — a suspension that is delayed pending specified behavioral performance. A definite period of observation and review occurs during deferred suspension. If a student is again found responsible for violating the Code, the suspension will take place immediately without appeal.
      • College suspension — separation of the student, with consequent loss of tuition and fees, from the college for a definite period of time, after which the student may be eligible to return. Students will be denied access to the campus (including classes), to college activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
      • College expulsion — permanent separation with consequent loss of tuition and fees, of the student from the college. Students will be denied access to the campus (including classes), to college activities or privileges.
    2. More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
    3. Other than college expulsion, sanctions will not be made part of the student's permanent academic record, but will become part of the student's student conduct record.
    4. The following sanctions may be imposed upon clubs, groups or organizations:
      • those sanctions listed in Section B.1. a through i.
      • Deactivation — loss of privileges, including college recognition, for a specified period of time.
  • Interim Sanctions

    In certain circumstances, the Assistant Dean may impose a sanction prior to the hearing before a student conduct body, including but not limited to no contact orders, loss of privileges, limited access, or suspension.

    1. Interim sanctions may be imposed only:
      • to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the college community or preservation of college property;
      • to ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and wellbeing; or
      • to avoid a threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the college.
    2. During an interim suspension, students will be denied access to the campus (including classes), to college activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Assistant Dean determines appropriate.
    3. The interim sanction does not replace the regular student conduct process, which will proceed on the normal schedule.
  • Appeals
    1. A decision reached or a sanction imposed by the student conduct body may be appealed by accused students to an appeals body within five college days of receipt of the decision. Failure to respond within the five college days after the receipt of the decision will result in the implementation of the recommended sanction(s).
    2. A student may request an appeal on one or more of the following grounds:
      • procedures as outlined in the Code were not followed;
      • facts in the case were insufficient to establish that a violation of the Code occurred;
      • sanctions imposed were not appropriate for the violation of the Code that the student was found to have violated;
      • new information that is sufficient to alter a decision has become available, such as relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
    3. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Assistant Dean clearly explaining the basis for the appeal.
    4. Except when reviewing new information, an appeal will be limited to a review of the student conduct hearing record and supporting documents. The appeals body may, however, permit the student who has appealed and the original student conduct body to present information and to answer questions posed by the appeals body.
    5. The appeals body may make one of the following decisions, which will be final:
      • Decision upheld — all findings and sanctions of the original hearing are final
      • Decision modified — decisions and/or sanctions are modified
      • Decision returned — the case is returned to a student conduct body for a new hearing
      • Decision reversed — all decisions and sanctions are absolved
    6. The Assistant Dean will notify the student of the appeals body’s decision in writing. This notification will include final charges, sanctions, and/or instructions for a new hearing.

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IX. Records

  1. Documents that are created and maintained as part of the student conduct process are subject to the protections of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Student conduct records will be maintained by the Assistant Dean for a minimum of seven years in accordance with the records retention guidelines of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Police Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.
  2. Records of students who have been suspended, expelled, or who have unresolved cases or outstanding sanctions shall be retained indefinitely.
  3. A student may request that the Assistant Dean eliminate an incident or incidents from his/her student conduct record. This request must be in writing and must include the specific basis for the request. The request may not be submitted earlier than one year from the time of the original incident(s). The decision to eliminate a record will be based on the violation(s), the individual’s student conduct history, and evidence of appropriate behavior since the violation occurred. The decision of the Assistant Dean will be final.

X. Interpretation and Revision

  1. Any question of interpretation regarding the Code will be referred to the Assistant Dean or a designee for final determination.
  2. The Code will be reviewed minimally every three years and amended as needed under the direction of the Assistant Dean.