I. Introduction

A. Policy Statement

A student’s continuance at any college in CCSNH depends on not only their academic performance but their conduct. A college’s jurisdiction and discipline shall be limited to conduct that adversely affects the college community and/or the pursuit of its objectives, whether on or off the college premises. The goals of the colleges’ judicial systems are to:

  • Develop, disseminate, interpret, and enforce campus regulations.
  • Protect the relative rights of all students.
  • Adjudicate student behavioral problems in an effective, equitable, and educational manner.
  • Facilitate and encourage respect for campus governance.
  • Enable students to learn from their experiences, to foresee consequences of behavior, and to avoid behaviors that would violate ethical and moral standards.

The mission of the college’s judicial systems shall be educational in emphasis. In the administration of discipline, however, it is imperative that a proper balance exist between concern for the individual involved in an infraction and concern for the college community. In doing so, the good of the college community takes precedence.

B. Definitions

  • College Official: Refers to any person employed by any CCSNH college performing assigned administrative and/or other professional responsibilities
  • College Premises: Refers to all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of, or owned, used or controlled by any CCSNH college (including adjacent streets and sidewalks)
  • Complainant: Refers to any person who has filed a report or complaint alleging that a student has engaged in conduct that violates the Student Code of Conduct
  • Faculty: Refers to any person hired by CCSNH colleges to conduct educational activities
  • Judicial Advisor: Refers to the college official(s) appointed by a CCSNH college to coordinate and monitor the judicial process. The judicial advisor’s role will include but not be limited to monitoring the judicial bodies and proceedings, advising judicial bodies and students on the applicable judicial process, reviewing requests for judicial appeals, and maintaining judicial proceedings records.
  • Judicial Body: Refers to any college official or committee authorized to determine whether a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and to impose sanctions
  • Judicial Committee: Refers to the appellate body appointed by a CCSNH college that is authorized to consider an appeal arising from a judicial body’s determination that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and/or the sanctions imposed by such judicial body
  • Respondent: Refers to a student against whom a complaint alleging violation of the Student Code of Conduct has been filed

II. Student Code of Conduct

A. Scope

The student code of conduct applies to any person registered, accepted, or enrolled in any course or program offered by any CCSNH college, including those who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college. The college’s jurisdiction and discipline shall be limited to violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct prohibits activities that directly and significantly interfere with the college’s (1) primary educational responsibility of ensuring the opportunity of all members of the community to attain their educational objectives; or (2) subsidiary responsibilities of protecting the health and safety of persons in the campus community, maintaining and protecting property, keeping records, providing living accommodations and other services, and sponsoring non-classroom activities such as lectures, concerts, athletic events, and social functions, whether the violation occurs on or off the college premises or inside or outside of the classroom. Such conduct or attempted conduct is forbidden.

B. General Infractions

  1. Violation of published college policies, rules, or regulations
  2. Violation of federal, state, or local law
  3. Use, possession, sale, or distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances or purported controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law and college regulations
  4. Public intoxication or the use, possession, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, except as expressly permitted by the law and college regulations
  5. Possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on college premises (including in vehicles) except as authorized by the college

C. Academic Misconduct

  1. Acts of dishonesty including but not limited to the following:
    • Cheating: Includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance from other persons or technologies in taking quizzes, tests, or exams or in the preparation and completion of class
      assignments; (2) dependence upon the aid of resources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of college faculty, staff, or students; or (4) knowingly providing unauthorized assistance of any kind to another for the purpose of providing unfair advantage to the recipient in the completion of course assessments/assignment (sometimes known as facilitation)
    • Plagiarism: Passing off the work of another as one’s own, which includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in providing term papers or other academic materials via direct sale, barter, or other means.
  2. Grading Authority: Authority over individual assignment or course grades is reserved to instructors. Therefore, a student who commits an act of academic misconduct may also be subject to academic
    consequences at the discretion of the instructor in the course. This can result in, but is not limited to, the student failing the course. A student who wishes to file a grade appeal should refer to CCSNH Academic Affairs Policy 670.04.

D. Disruption of College Operations

  1. Furnishing false information to any college official, faculty, or staff member
  2. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification
  3. Tampering with the election process or financial management of any college-recognized student organization
  4. Disruption or obstruction of any authorized college activity or of any authorized non-college activity, or unauthorized occupancy of any college facility
  5. Failure to comply with directions of college officials, campus security personnel, or public law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties, including failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so
  6. Participation in a campus demonstration that disrupts the normal operations of the institution and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the college community; or leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area
  7. Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on college premises or at functions sponsored by or participated in by the colleges
  8. Abuse of the judicial system, including but not limited to:
    • Failure to obey the summons of a judicial body or judicial committee
    • Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a judicial body or judicial committee
    • Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding
    • Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in or use of the judicial system
    • Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a judicial body or judicial committee through threat, intimidation, or bribery prior to and/or during the course of the judicial proceeding
    • Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code of Conduct
    • Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the judicial system
    • Aiding or abetting in the violation of the Student Code of Conduct
    • Disruptive student behavior in a classroom or other learning environment (to include both on- and off-campus locations) that disrupts the educational process as defined by the instructor. Disruptive student behavior also includes engaging in threatening, intimidating, or other inappropriate behavior toward the instructor or classmates outside of class.

E. Health and Safety Offenses

  1. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys or key cards to any college premises or unauthorized entry to or use of college premises
  2. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on college premises or at college-sponsored or supervised functions; reckless or dangerous operation of a motor vehicle on campus that endangers persons or property

F. Offenses Involving Others

  1. Physical or verbal abuse that threatens or endangers the health, well-being, or safety of any member or guest of the CCSNH community and includes verbal abuse that is sufficiently serious to deny or limit the victim’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational programs
  2. Threats of harm or injury, either stated or implied, addressed directly to any member or guest of the CCSNH community or posted in an electronic medium so as to leave no doubt as to the intended target
  3. Acts of intimidation or coercion, whether stated or implied
  4. Acts of harassment and/or retaliation, including discriminatory harassment, directed toward any member or guest of the CCSNH community. Discriminatory harassment refers to the verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual identity or expression, national origin, religion, age, physical or mental disability, and sexual orientation; or because of opposition to discrimination or participation in the discrimination complaint process. Retaliation is any adverse action related to participation in an education program taken against a person because a person has filed a report or participated in any in the filing of an incident report or complaint, investigation or hearing process related to student conduct.
  5. All reports of alleged sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking) will be assessed under Policy 730.04 – Title IX/RSA 188-H Sexual Misconduct Policy and Grievance Procedure. Sexual misconduct that is determined to fall within the
    definitions of Title IX sexual harassment shall be addressed by the grievance procedure in Policy 730.04. Any sexual misconduct that does not meet the definitions of Title IX sexual harassment shall be addressed by the procedure in this policy.
  6. Hazing, which is defined in NH RSA 631:7 as “any act directed toward a student, or any coercion or intimidation of a student to act or to participate in or submit to any act, when: (1) Such act is likely or would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to cause physical or psychological injury to any
    person; and (2) Such act is a condition of initiation into, admission into, continued membership in or association with any organization”; and under this Code of Conduct includes acts that endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that destroy or remove public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization

G. Offenses Involving Property

  1. Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the college or property of a member of the
    college community or other personal or public property
  2. Theft or other abuse of technological resources, including but not limited to:
    • Unauthorized entry into electronic files, to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose
    • Unauthorized transfer of electronic files or copyrighted software programs
    • Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password or key card
    • Use of technological resources that interferes with the work of another student, faculty member, or college official
    • Use of technological resources to send, publish, or display obscene, pornographic, threatening, or abusive messages
    • Use of technological resources to receive, browse, store, or view obscene or pornographic materials for other than college-approved research
    • Use of technological resources for criminal activity
    • Use of technological resources to interfere with operation of the college computing system

H. Student Social Compact

As members of this campus community, we face a serious public health situation that requires a new level of awareness and caution in our daily lives. As a caring community, we understand that our health and safety depend on how well we take care of ourselves and each other. As a member of this community, I promise to responsibly protect my health and the health of others. I make these efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other risks to our community’s health and to best preserve the learning opportunities available to me as a student at this college.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is highly contagious. It is possible to develop and contract COVID-19 even when individuals follow all of the safety precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the state of New Hampshire, and the college. N.H.’s community colleges are following coronavirus guidelines issued by the CDC, the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and other reliable resources to reduce the spread of infection. However, by engaging in on- or off-campus activities, students, faculty, and staff can never be completely shielded from all risks of exposure or illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections.

Maintaining college instructional and service activities is dependent upon how well all members of our college community adhere to public health recommendations and expectations. Significant changes in the trajectory of the virus may result in changes to instructional and campus operational plans. It is in all of our best interests to do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. To protect myself and others, and preserve the opportunity of learning in this campus setting, I understand that as a member of the CCSNH community I will be expected to:

Protect Myself

  1. Monitor for the symptoms of COVID-19 and report as directed by the college and to a medical professional if I experience fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms identified by public health authorities.
  2. Wash my hands often with soap and water or use effective hand sanitizer.
  3. Maintain appropriate physical distancing, especially in indoor settings.
  4. Protect myself from viral respiratory infections by means that may include obtaining a flu shot as recommended by N.H. public health authorities.
  5. Follow all other recommendations of public health officials in the state of New Hampshire.

Protect Others

  1. Stay home if feeling ill, or after exposure to someone who is ill or is suspected or confirmed positive for COVID-19.
  2. Wear an appropriate face covering and other protective gear as directed by the college.
  3. Be positive, sensitive, and helpful to anyone around me who may be troubled or struggling.
  4. Recognize that others may have health conditions or relevant family circumstances that are private and respect their needs for personal and community precautions.
  5. Understand that individuals can have COVID-19 yet be asymptomatic and therefore an unknown carrier of the virus.

Protect My College Community

  1. Keep clothing, belongings, personal spaces, and shared common spaces clean.
  2. Carefully observe instructional signs and follow directions.
  3. Inform the designated COVID-19 contact person at my college if I have a positive test or am experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  4. Participate as requested in testing and contact tracing to preserve the wellness of the community.
  5. Recognize that COVID-19 does not stop at campus boundaries and be aware that my behavior outside campus can create risks for my on-campus community.
  6. Behave with compassion and understand that we are all doing the best we can in unprecedented circumstances; share concerns rather than anger or blame.

Protect My Surrounding Community

  1. Complete required precautions prior to arrival on campus or if I have had to leave the state.
  2. Self-isolate in accordance with N.H. DHHS guidelines if I test positive for COVID-19.
  3. Quarantine in accordance with N.H. DHHS guidelines if I am identified as having been in close contact of a suspected or confirmed case for COVID-19 or fall under the travel restrictions for COVID-19.
  4. Practice safe physical distancing when participating in the community outside of the campus.
  5. Pay attention to and observe local and state directives.
  6. Remember that not everyone is affected equally by COVID-19 and by complying with COVID-19 health guidelines, I will help those who are most vulnerable to stay safe.
  7. This virus does not discriminate, and neither will I – no person or group of people is responsible for this virus and I will not blame the presence of COVID-19 on anyone in my community.

III. Violation of Civil/Criminal  Law and CCSNH Code of Conduct

  1. If a student is charged with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct that also constitutes a violation of a criminal statute, disciplinary proceedings may still be instituted against a student prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus.
  2. 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 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 CCSNH college judicial body, however, the college may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the proceeding and of the internal handling of such matters within the college community. College officials, faculty, and staff will 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.

IV. Sanctions and Disciplinary Proceedings

A. Sanction Definitions

  • Warning: A notice in writing to the student that they are violating or have violated institutional regulations
  • Probation: A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found during the period of probation to be violating any institutional regulations
  • Loss of Privileges: Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time (e.g., social probation, vehicular privileges, deactivation of a group, limited access to facilities, persona non grata)
  • Loss of Contact: Restriction prohibiting an individual from harassing, threatening, accosting, approaching, or contacting a specified individual
  • Fines: Previously established and published fines may be imposed.
  • Restitution: Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  • Residence Hall Suspension: Separation from the residence halls for a definite period of time, after which the student, group, or organization is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission will be specified.
  • Residence Hall Expulsion: Permanent separation from the residence halls.
  • Class/College Suspension: Separation from class(es) or the college for a definite period of time, after which the student, group, or organization is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission will be specified.
  • College Dismissal/Expulsion: Permanent separation from all CCSNH colleges, which may include loss of campus visitation privileges.
  • Educational or Service Sanctions: Imposed in addition to or in lieu of the above sanctions; examples of such sanctions include but are not limited to work assignments, service to the college, written letter of apology, and mandatory meetings with a college official. Such sanctions require the approval of any person(s) whose participation is required for the completion of the sanction(s).
  • Interim Sanctions: In certain circumstances, the president or vice presidents of the college, or a designee, may impose a sanction prior to the hearing before a judicial body. Interim sanctions may be imposed only a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the college community or preservation of college property; b) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or c) to ensure the normal operations of the college. Notification of the imposition of interim sanctions must be communicated to the judicial advisor as soon as is practical, as well as to the appropriate vice president (if the vice president did not originate the imposition of sanctions).

B. Student Disciplinary Proceedings

Training

All individuals involved in conducting disciplinary proceedings and appeals shall receive annual training on the student code of conduct, investigations, and the hearing process; this shall include training on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety and welfare of victims and promotes accountability.

Filing a Complaint

  • Any person who witnesses or learns of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct may bring a complaint forward to the appropriate judicial body by filing an incident report.
  • Incident report forms may be obtained from the Academic or Student Affairs offices, as well as from the judicial advisor. Forms may be made available through Campus Safety or Residence Life (where available) or on the college website. Information in the report should include but not be limited to the following:
    • Reporting person’s name, address, phone, and student ID number (contact information and ID number shall not be released to the respondent without written permission of the person reporting the incident)
    • Date, time, and location of incident
    • Person(s) involved in the incident
    • Victim(s) or damages involved in the incident
    • Complete narrative description of the incident
    • Names of witnesses to the incident
    • Any other information deemed appropriate

Investigation and Resolution of Complaint by Judicial Body

  1. The fact that a complaint has been filed creates no presumption that the respondent has committed the alleged offense.
  2. The complaint will be referred to the appropriate judicial body, which will investigate (or request a formal investigation by an impartial investigator) and hear all complaints and may a) dispose of the complaint as unfounded; b) mediate an informal resolution; or c) issue (or recommend to be issued) sanctions as described in Section IV.
  3. The respondent and the complainant, where applicable, have the right to be assisted by an advocate of their choice. An advocate, however, is not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any investigation or hearing before the judicial body.
  4. A time shall be set for an initial hearing before the judicial body not less than 1 business day after nor more than 5 business days after the respondent has been notified. At the initial hearing, the judicial body may receive evidence from the complainant and the respondent regarding any interim sanctions and shall
    determine whether (a) the complaint should be disposed without further investigation and a report issued setting forth the findings and the sanctions, if any, to be imposed; (b) mediation is appropriate; or (c) a formal investigation is required. In the event a formal investigation is required, the judicial body will accept the findings of the investigator(s) and provide a report of the findings to respondent.
  5. Whether the investigation is completed by the judicial body or an impartial investigator, all findings will be based on a preponderance of the evidence; i.e., evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe that it was more likely than not that the respondent committed the alleged offense.
  6. If the investigator’s report contains a finding that the respondent committed the alleged offense, a time shall be set for a sanctions hearing before the judicial body to be held not less than 1 day nor more than 10 days after the investigation report is issued.

C. Student Disciplinary Appeals

Filing an Appeal and Preliminary Appellate Process

  1. A respondent may appeal a disciplinary action by filing a written appeal with the judicial advisor within 5 business days of being informed of the sanction being imposed. The imposed sanction remains in effect during the appeal process. The written appeal must indicate the grounds for reversing the sanction. Grounds for appeal shall be limited to:
    • The original hearing/investigation was not conducted fairly and in conformity with prescribed procedures (see B above).
    • New and relevant evidence, sufficient to alter the decision, has been revealed that was not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
    • Inappropriate gravity of the sanction in relation to the offense.
  2. The judicial advisor has 3 business days from the receipt of the appeal to determine whether the basis set forth in the appeal falls within the grounds allowed for appeal and to inform the appealing student in writing. If the judicial advisor determines that the case does not fall within the grounds allowed for appeal, then the previous adjudication stands. If the judicial advisor determines that the case does fall within the grounds allowed for appeal, the judicial advisor may meet with the judicial body who issued the original disciplinary action to discuss a possible modification or rescission, as appropriate. If a decision to modify or rescind is not reached, the appeal will be forwarded immediately to the judicial committee or immediately forward the appeal to the judicial committee for consideration.
  3. All preliminary processing of appeals will be concluded within 5 business days unless the judicial advisor determines that there are specific articulated extenuating circumstances (e.g., absence of key parties) that require an extension.
  4. The judicial advisor will provide notification of the outcome of the preliminary processing of the appeal in writing within 3 business days of the decision to the respondent and, as applicable, the complainant, and any administrative offices involved.

D. Membership of the Judicial Committee

  1. A chairperson and an alternate chairperson who will be appointed by each college president or designee.
  2. A total of 4 voting members, elected as follows:
    • 2 faculty or staff selected by college president or other appropriate college official(s)
    • 2 students selected by the Student Senate or other appropriate student group. If the college has
      residence halls, 1 of the students shall be from the residence halls.
  3. A total of 4 alternate voting members may be selected as follows:
    • 2 faculty or staff selected by the college president or other appropriate college official(s)
    • 2 students selected by the Student Senate or other appropriate student group
  4. The advisor to the Judicial Committee will be the judicial advisor who will be appointed by the vice president of Student Affairs.

E. Judicial Committee Appeal Hearings

  1. A minimum of 3 members (including the chair) shall constitute a quorum to conduct a hearing. If 3 appointed members are not available because of recusals or for other reasons, additional members shall be
    selected by the judicial advisor pursuant to the methodology set forth in paragraph 2 b below.
  2. During the summer or vacations, a meeting may be called and members will be selected as follows:
    • Regular members will serve, if available
    • In the event sufficient regular members are not available, the judicial advisor will appoint additional members as necessary to reach a quorum and in such a manner as to reflect the original representation of the committee.
  3. If the complaint has been brought by a member of the Judicial Committee or the VPSA, they shall recuse themselves from the committee’s deliberations and voting.
  4. Hearings shall be conducted by the Judicial Committee according to the following guidelines:
    • The parties shall receive written advance notification informing them of the allegations set forth in the complaint, the time, date, and place of the hearing.
    • The respondent may remain silent or submit only a written statement or response to the complaint.
    • Hearings normally shall be conducted in private. Admission to the hearing of any person not directly involved with the proceedings shall be at the discretion of the chairperson of the Judicial Committee.
    • When more than one individual is charged with the same violation, each respondent shall have the right to an individual hearing. Otherwise, the cases may be heard jointly.
    • The complainant and the respondent have the right to be assisted by an advocate they choose. The complainant and/or the respondent, however, are each responsible for presenting their own case; therefore, advocates are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before the Judicial Committee.
    • The complainant, the respondent, and the Judicial Committee shall have the right to call witnesses. They also have the right to present pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements for consideration by the Judicial Committee. All questioning of the complainant, the respondent, and witnesses will be conducted by the Judicial Committee.
    • In certain cases, when a complaint has been brought by an individual who is either unable or unwilling to present the case, the college may appoint a representative to present the case. In these instances, a member of the judicial body or the impartial investigator will consult with the Judicial Committee to determine the appropriateness of serving in this role. All procedural questions are subject to final decision by the chairperson of the Judicial Committee.
    • After the hearing, the Judicial Committee shall determine based upon the evidence presented at the hearing (by majority vote) whether the respondent has violated the Student Code of Conduct. The chairperson will vote only in the event of a tie.
    • The Judicial Committee’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the respondent committed the alleged offense and thereby violated the Student Code of Conduct.
    • The Judicial Committee will issue a report of its findings and sanctions to be imposed to the judicial advisor within 3 business days of the completion of its hearings on the matter.
    • The judicial advisor will provide written notification of findings and sanctions to the complainant, the respondent, and administrative offices on a need-to-know basis. The original will be maintained with the college’s judicial records.
  5. The judicial advisor shall be responsible for making a record of the hearing. There shall be a single record (whether written minutes, audiotape, or other record) of all hearings before the Judicial Committee. The record shall be the property of the college, and may only be reviewed by the parties or college official upon providing a written request to the judicial advisor.
  6. Except in the case of a student charged with failing to obey the summons of the Judicial Committee, judicial body, or college official, no student may be found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct solely because the student failed to appear before the judicial body or Judicial Committee. In all cases, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.
  7. The decision of the Judicial Committee is final and is not subject to further appeal.

V. Student Rights

A. Students in the Classroom

The classroom environment should encourage free discussion, inquiry, and expression. Student performance must be evaluated on the basis of academic performance. At the same time, students are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.

Students are responsible for learning the content and maintaining academic standards for any course of study, but in so doing, they have the right to take substantiated exception to the data or views presented in class, and they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.

Information about the personal views, beliefs, and political associations of students that instructors, advisors, and counselors learn in their course of work should be considered confidential.

B. Student Freedom Off-Campus

Students are both citizens and members of an academic community with rights of freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and petition. Administrative officials and faculty members should not employ institutional powers to
inhibit the intellectual and personal development of students as promoted through the exercise of citizenship rights on and off campus. Where activities of students off-campus result in the violation of law and interrogation by investigators, the colleges should:

  1. Not duplicate the function of general laws until the college’s interests as an academic community are distinctly and clearly involved
  2. Not subject the student to a greater penalty than would normally be imposed if the off-campus violation incidentally violates an institution regulation
  3. Take appropriate action independent of community pressure

C. Freedom of Association

Students should be free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests. Affiliations with an external organization should not of itself disqualify a student organization from institutional recognition. Student organizations must submit a statement of purpose, criteria for membership, rules of procedures, and a current list of officers. Campus organizations should be open to all students without respect to race, creed, or origin, except for religious qualifications that may be required by organizations whose aims are primarily sectarian.

D. Freedom of Inquiry and Expression

Students and student organizations shall be free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. At the same time, it should be made clear that in their public expressions or demonstrations, students or student organizations speak only for themselves and not for the college, CCSNH, its board of trustees, or its employees.

Students should be allowed to invite and to hear any person of their own choosing. Those routine procedures required by a college before a guest speaker is invited to appear on campus should be designed only to ensure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event and that the occasion is conducted in a manner appropriate to an academic community. The institutional control of campus facilities should not be used as a device of censorship. It should be made clear to the academic and larger community that presence of guest speakers does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views expressed either by the sponsoring group or by the college.

E. Student Participation in College Government

The student body should have clearly defined means to participate in the formulation and application of institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs. The role of student government and both its general and specific responsibilities should be made explicit and the actions of student government within the areas of its jurisdiction should be reviewed only through orderly and prescribed procedures.

F. Student Publications

College authorities, in consultation with students and faculty, have a responsibility to provide written clarification of the role of the student publications, the standards to be used in their development, and the limitations on
external control of their operation. Editorial freedom entails corollary responsibilities to be governed by the
cannons of responsible journalism, such as the avoidance of libel, indecency, unsubstantiated allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and the techniques of harassment and innuendo.

G. Establishing Student Conduct Standards

  1. Conduct: In developing responsible student conduct and disciplinary procedures, the CCSNH and its colleges should:
    • Establish and communicate, through publication, those standards of behavior that are considered essential to the educational objective and community life.
    • Initiate disciplinary proceedings only for violations of standards of conduct formulated or published.
    • Formulate and communicate disciplinary procedures, including the student’s right to appeal a decision.
  2. Investigation of Student Conduct
    • Search and Seizure: CCSNH regards the right of privacy as an essential freedom. Occupied premises, assigned lockers, privately owned automobiles or any other personal property owned or controlled by a student may not be searched without consent of the student except in the circumstances noted below. Before a search is conducted, school officials will have reasonable grounds to believe that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated, or is violating, either the law or school rules. All searches will be reasonable and justified from their inception and reasonable in scope:
      • Residence Life health and safety inspections, Thanksgiving break closings, winter break closings and spring break closings to insure the health, cleanliness, safety and maintenance of the residence halls. During inspections, if a policy violation comes to the attention of the staff (e.g., candle), it may be addressed judicially.
      • Routine inspections, emergency repairs, and/or routine maintenance. Such activities do not normally include searches, but are for the purpose of inspection, maintenance, and repair.
      • Entries authorized in advance by the president or VPSA (or designee) in writing based upon reasonable information that such entry is necessary for the purpose of detecting and removing items including, but not limited to, weapons or other contraband that violate a law or a school rule or pose a threat to the health and safety of students, faculty, staff or guests. The scope of any search conducted pursuant to this authorization shall extend no further than is necessary to secure and remove the item(s).
      • Entries and searches authorized by law. Entries and searches conducted by duly and authorized law enforcement officials under circumstances authorized by law.
      • Entry may be made to ensure the health and safety of occupants. Examples include, but are not limited to, fire or alarm evacuations, smell of smoke or burning items, and concern for non-responsive occupants
      • Appropriate staff may enter if there is a reasonable belief that evidence exists that a violation of a college policy is taking place. Efforts will be made to seek compliance from the residents of the space before this type of entry is made.

 

VI. Student Rights—Grievance Procedures

Any student who feels their rights have been violated may file a grievance following the procedure below. In the case of a grievance alleging discrimination based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or veteran status, the student may also report the conduct to the college’s Affirmative Action or equity officer and/or Title IX coordinator. In the case of a grievance alleging discrimination, the college may also initiate an investigation and take appropriate steps including, but not limited to, referring the matter to the appropriate college official for disciplinary action.

  1. Prior to filing a grievance, the student is encouraged to meet with the individual who has allegedly violated their rights (e.g., instructor, staff member, or student) to resolve the issue informally.
  2. If the issue cannot be resolved by pursuing the process above, or the individual elects not to resolve the matter informally as prescribed above, a formal grievance in writing must be submitted to:
    • The vice president of Academic Affairs (VPAA) for grievances related to the instructional process
    • The vice president of Student Affairs (VPSA) for grievances not related to the instructional process
  3. The grievance must be submitted within 2 weeks of the date the grievant knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged violation. The grievance shall specify the right claimed to have been violated and state briefly the underlying facts.
  4. The VPAA, VPSA, or designee will meet with the individual alleged to have violated the student’s rights. The VPAA, VPSA, or designee may attempt to resolve the issue informally at this stage. If resolution is not possible and the VPAA, VPSA, or designee determines that the grievance alleges facts that, if true, constitute a violation of the student’s rights and has been timely filed, the matter will be forwarded to the judicial advisor who convenes the Judicial Committee within 2 weeks of the receipt of the formal grievance. If the VPAA, VPSA, or designee determines that the grievance does not state a violation of the student’s rights or is untimely, the VPAA, VPSA, or designee will provide a written explanation to the student and the matter will be considered resolved at that point.

 

Date of Last Amendment: Aug. 31, 2020