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3.6.1 – Procedure – Student Conduct

MnSCU Policy

Part 1: Introduction. Procedure 3.6.1 shall implement Policy 3.6 Student Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct applies at all locations of the college and all college activities wherever located. Student organizations are subject to the Code of Conduct and to the process in Part 4 of this procedure.

Part 2: Definitions. For purposes of Policy 3.6 and Procedure 3.6.1 the following definitions apply:

Subpart A: College means Lake Superior College.

Subpart B: Administrator means that person designated by the college president to be responsible for the administration of the Student Code.

Subpart C: Policy means the written regulations of the college and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (“MnSCU”) as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code, the college and MnSCU Web pages, Board Policy and System Procedure 5.18 and 5.18.1 on Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances on Campus, Board Policy and System Procedure 5.22 and 5.22.1 on Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources, and the college catalog.

Subpart D: Student includes all persons who:

    1. Are enrolled in one or more courses, either credit or non-credit, through the college;
    2. Withdraw, transfer or graduate, after an alleged violation of the student conduct code;
    3. Are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college; and/or
    4. Have been notified of their acceptance for admission or have initiated the process of application for admission or financial aid.

Subpart E: Student Organization means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for college (recognition/registration).

Subpart F: Suspension means a denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-enrollment may be specified.

Subpart G: Expulsion means a permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment at the college.

Subpart H: Summary suspension means a suspension imposed without a formal hearing to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the college community.

Subpart I: Hazing means an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person, subjects a person to public humiliation or ridicule, 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 group, organization, or athletic team.

Subpart J: Preponderance of evidence means a standard of responsibility that it is more likely than not that the code has been violated.

Subpart K: Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

    1. use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations;
    2. use of sources 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 the college faculty or staff;
    4. engaging in any behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion.

Subpart L: Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotations, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.

Part 3: Notification and Student Responsibilities.

Subpart A: Notification. Students participating in on-site orientation shall be provided a hard copy of the Code of Conduct.

Subpart B: Student Responsibilities. Students are responsible for knowing of and abiding by all the rules and regulations of Lake Superior College. Many of these rules and regulations are simply extensions of those existing in the larger community, and some are unique to the college setting. These rules and regulations apply to both campus and off-campus college-sponsored activities. Violations of these rules and regulations may result in disciplinary action.

Part 4: Proscribed Behavior and Sanctions.

Subpart A: Jurisdiction of the College Student Code. The college Student Code shall apply to conduct that occurs on college premises, at college sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct in the following circumstances:

    1. Hazing is involved:
    2. The violation is committed while participating in a college sanctioned or sponsored activity;
    3. The victim of the violation is a member of the college community;
    4. The violation constitutes a felony under state or federal law; or
    5. The violation adversely affects the educational, research, or service functions of the college.

The administrator shall decide whether the Student Code shall be applied to conduct occurring off-campus, on a case by case basis, in his/her sole discretion.

Allegations of discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence shall be resolved pursuant to Board Policy 1B.1, Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education Opportunity, System Procedure 1B.1.1, Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigation and Resolution, Board Policy 1B.3, Sexual Violence Policy, System Procedure 1B.3.1, Sexual Violence Procedure. Allegations of fraud or dishonest acts shall be resolved pursuant to Board Policy 1C.2, Fraudulent or Other Dishonest Acts.

Subpart B: Rules and Regulations. Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct in circumstances falling under the jurisdiction of this code may be subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Part 4, Subpart E.

Subpart C: Proscribed Conduct

    1. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
      1. Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty;
      2. Furnishing false information to any college official, faculty member, or office;
      3. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any college document, record , or instrument of identification.
    2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other college activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or of other authorized non-college activities when the conduct occurs on college premises.
    3. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
    4. 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, on or off campus.
    5. Hazing.
    6. Failure to comply with directions 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.
    7. Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any college premises or unauthorized entry to or use of college premises.
    8. Violation of any college or board policy, rule or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on the college or MnSCU website.
    9. Violation of any federal, state or local law.
    10. Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law.
    11. Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by college or MnSCU regulations), public intoxication, or violation of Board Policy 5.18 and System Procedure 5.18.1 on Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances on Campus. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by or distributed to any person under twenty-one (21) years of age.
    12. Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on college premises or use of any such item, even if legally possessed, in a manner that harms, threatens or causes fear to others.
    13. Participation in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot or activity that 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.
    14. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on college premises or at college sponsored or supervised functions.
    15. 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 college or members of the academic community.
    • Disorderly conduct includes but is not limited to: any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on college premises without his/her prior knowledge, or without his/her effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom.
    1. Policy 5.22 and System Procedure 5.22.1 on Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources.
    2. Abuse of the student conduct system, including but not limited to:
      1. Failure to obey the notice from a student conduct panel or college official to appear for a meeting or hearing as part of the student conduct system;
      2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a student conduct panel;
      3. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a student conduct panel proceeding;
      4. Institution of a student conduct code proceeding in bad faith;
      5. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the student conduct system;
      6. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a student conduct panel prior to, and/or during the course of the student conduct panel proceeding;
      7. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a student conduct panel prior to, during, and/or after a student conduct code proceeding;
      8. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code;
      9. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student conduct code system.
    3. Use of any tobacco product on campus property including a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe; the use of any smoking material; or use of smokeless tobacco.
    4. Knowingly furnishing false information to college personnel; or the knowledgeable passing of an insufficient funds check or fraudulent money order in payment of any financial obligation to the college.
    5. Forgery, unauthorized alteration or unauthorized use of any college document or instrument of identification.
    6. Unauthorized presence in, or use of college premises, facilities or property.
    7. Refusing to depart from any property or facilities of the college upon direction by college officials or other persons authorized within the regulation of the college.
    8. In-line skating, roller skating, or skateboarding in all college buildings.
    9. Unauthorized or fraudulent use of college facilities, telephone system, mail system, computer system, or use of any of the above for any illegal act or any act prohibited by the Code of Conduct.
    10. Deliberate destruction of, damage to, malicious use of, or abuse of property, wherever located, or the deliberate destruction, damage to or malicious use of public or private property.
    11. Gambling for money or other things of value on campus or at college-sponsored activities except as permitted by law.
    12. Falsely claiming to represent the college or a student organization of the college.
    13. Actions which unreasonably interfere, obstruct or prevent the regular and essential operations of the college or infringe upon the rights of others to freely participate in its programs and services. This may include, but is not limited to, intentionally and substantially interfering with the freedom of expression of others.

Subpart D: Violation of Law and College Discipline. College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and this Student Code (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of the administrator. Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this Student Code shall 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.

Subpart E: College Sanctions. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the student conduct code:

    1. Warning. Issuance of a written warning, admonition, or reprimand, and may include a referral for counseling.
    2. 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 to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period. The college may impose specific written conditions for the probation.
    3. Loss of Privileges. Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
    4. Restitution. Required reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. This may take the form of appropriate services or other compensation.
    5. Discretionary sanctions. Work assignments, fines, service to the college, counseling or referral to community agencies, rehabilitative programs, or other related discretionary assignments.
    6. Denial of access. Denial of rights to access the college premises or specified areas within the college, either permanently or for a specified period of time.
    7. Suspension. Denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-enrollment must be specified.
    8. Expulsion. Permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment at the college.
    9. Revocation of Admission and/or Degree. Admission to or a degree awarded from the college maybe revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of college standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
    10. Withholding Degree. The college may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this student conduct code, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.
    • More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
      1. Those sanctions listed above;
      2. Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time;
      3. Deactivation. Loss of all privileges, including college recognition, for a specified period of time.
    • Other than college suspension or expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record but shall become part of the student’s confidential record.

Subpart F: Summary Suspension. In certain circumstances, the administrator may impose a summary suspension prior to the informal or formal proceedings described in the previous articles. A summary suspension may be imposed only when, in the judgment of the administrator, the accused student’s presence on the college campus would constitute a threat to the safety and wellbeing of members of the campus community. To the greatest extent possible before implementing the summary suspension, the accused student shall be given oral or written notice of the intent to impose summary suspension and shall be given an opportunity to present oral or written arguments against the imposition of the suspension. However, the refusal of a student to accept or acknowledge this notice shall not prevent the implementation of a summary suspension. Notice of the summary suspension shall be provided in writing to the student. After the student has been summarily suspended, the student shall be provided an opportunity for a formal or informal hearing within the shortest reasonable time period, not to exceed nine (9) school or business days. During the summary suspension, the student may not enter the campus without obtaining prior permission from the administrator.

Subpart G: Student Rights and Due Process. Disciplinary action against individual students or groups of students must be administered in the context of a unified and coordinated set of campus regulations and processes to ensure fair, equitable and legal outcomes. Each person involved in the administration of the Student Code of Conduct of Lake Superior College will set as a goal the fair, objective and humane approach in all conduct cases. Consistent treatment in disciplinary action is another goal. Each case, however, must be recognized as a highly individual matter, and consistency for the sake of consistency should not be the dominant concern. Those involved in administering the Student Code of Conduct should be aware that their efforts are primarily directed toward:

  1. Protecting the integrity and order of the institution, and the morale and reputation of faculty, students and staff.
  2. Educating the student involved with the conduct process so that he/she may learn to discipline himself/herself and accept responsibilities of membership in the college community.
  3. Helping the student gain insight into the reasons and consequences of his/her behavior so that he/she may cope with future difficult situations more successfully. The administration of the Student Code of Conduct shall also guarantee procedural fairness to an accused student. Practices in disciplinary cases may vary in formality with the gravity of the alleged offense and the potential sanctions which may be applied. Sanctions shall be commensurate with the seriousness of the offense and may include suspension/expulsion from the college community. Repeated violations justify increasingly severe sanctions. In all cases, procedural fair play requires that a student charged with misconduct be informed of the nature of the charges, given a fair opportunity to refute them, that the institution not be arbitrary in its actions, and that there be provision for appeal of a decision. Therefore, persons making charges are required to provide pertinent information in writing and, if necessary, appear at a hearing.

Part 5: Process.

Subpart A: Investigation and informal process.

    1. Any member of the college community may file a written complaint alleging that a student or organization has violated student conduct proscriptions. Any complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. Persons filing complaints shall be informed of their rights under the Minnesota Statute 13.04, subdivision 2. Following the filing of a complaint against a student, the Vice President of Student Services or designee shall conduct an investigation of the allegations.
    2. If the complaint seems unwarranted, the Vice President of Student Services or designee may discontinue proceedings.
    3. If there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint, the Vice President of Student Services or designee shall offer the accused student an opportunity to resolve the alleged violation at an informal meeting. Prior to this meeting, the student shall be given written notice of the specific complaint against him/her and the nature of the evidence available to support the complaint and provided with a copy of the code of conduct. During the meeting, the Vice President of Student Services or designee shall review the complaint and the evidence with the student and allow the student to present a defense against the complaint. Within a reasonable time period following the meeting, the Vice President of Student Services or designee shall inform the accused student in writing of his/her decision whether a violation of the code was established by a preponderance of evidence and any applicable sanction as well as options available for an appeal and/or a formal hearing.
    4. A student who is subject to a sanction of expulsion or suspension, except summary suspension, for more than nine days may agree to accept the sanction, or may request a formal hearing prior to implementation of the sanction. The formal hearing should be held within a reasonable time. Other sanctions shall be accepted or may be appealed in accordance with the college’s appeal procedures.
    5. If the accused student fails to appear for the informal hearing, the Vice President of Student Services or designee may proceed to review and act upon the complaint in his/her absence and shall notify the student in writing of an action taken.
    6. A sanction shall not become effective during the time in which a student seeks an appeal or formal hearing, unless, in the discretion of the administrator, it is necessary to implement an immediate sanction for the safety and welfare of the college community.

Subpart B: Formal hearing. The formal hearing procedure shall be conducted by the Judicial Panel. The Judicial Panel shall consist of an academic dean, two faculty members, one staff member, a counselor, and two student representatives. Students serving on the judicial panel shall be elected by the student body or appointed by the campus student association. Hearings shall be conducted by the Judicial Board according to the following guidelines:

    1. Proceedings normally will be conducted in private.
    2. Students or organizations referred for the formal hearing shall be given adequate advance notice in writing of the time, place, and date of the hearing. A student’s or organization’s failure to appear at the hearing shall not prevent the hearing from proceeding as scheduled.
    3. Within a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the student must be informed in writing of:
      1. the complaint,
      2. the evidence to be presented against him/her,
      3. a list of witnesses, and
      4. the nature of their testimony.
    4. The student shall be given the opportunity to speak in his/her own defense, to present witnesses and to question any witnesses and to have an advocate present. The advocate may provide advice to the student, but may not participate in any questioning. When there is a likelihood that a student involved in conduct proceedings will face criminal prosecution for a serious offense, it may be advisable that the student have an attorney as the advocate.
    5. In hearings involving more than one accused student or organization, the administrator, in his or her discretion, may permit the hearing concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
    6. Admission of any person to the proceeding shall be at the discretion of the Judicial Panel.
    7. In proceedings involving more than one accused student, the Judicial Panel may at its discretion permit the proceedings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
    8. A written notice of findings and conclusions shall be provided to the student within five working days after the hearing. The notice shall inform the student of any sanction to be imposed. The notice shall also contain information regarding any applicable appeal process.
    9. The hearing may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the complainant, accused student, and/or other witness during the hearing by providing for the presence of law enforcement and/or security, separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the administrator to be appropriate.

Subpart C: Appeals. Following the panel’s decision, a student may request an appeal hearing before the President. The request for an appeal to be heard must be submitted in writing to the Vice President of Student Services within five working days of the date of the notification of the decision. The Vice President of Students Services will forward the information to the President. Failure to file an appeal or request an extension in a timely manner constitutes a waiver of any right to an appeal. Except as required to explain the basis of new information, an appeal shall be limited to a review for one or more of the follow purposes:

    1. To determine whether the informal or formal hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information that the Student Code was violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to those allegations. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
    2. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial information, that is, whether there were facts in the case that, if believed by the fact finder, were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code occurred.
    3. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code which the student was found to have committed.
    4. To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other 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 informal or formal hearing. If an appeal is upheld by the President, the President may take any appropriate action. If an appeal is not upheld, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved except that in cases involving sanctions of suspension for ten (10) days or longer, students shall be informed of their right to a contested case hearing under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 14.

Subpart D: Chapter 14-Contested Case Hearing: Students who are suspended for more than ten days or are expelled may request a contested case hearing before an administrative law judge supplied by the Minnesota State Hearing Examiner’s Office in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The hearing officer will issue a recommendation to the President of the college who will make the final decision.

Part 6: Academic and Classroom Misconduct. All students have the right to pursue their academic careers in an atmosphere based on honesty and trust. Acts of academic misconduct destroy that atmosphere, violate that trust, and are therefore subject to penalty. This section of the Lake Superior College Student Code of Conduct defines what acts of academic misconduct are and presents the procedure for imposing penalties for such acts. Acts of academic misconduct necessarily involve the Vice President of Academic Affairs, academic deans, department heads, and faculty. Therefore, the procedures for investigating complaints and imposing penalties for academic misconduct differ somewhat from those applied to social misconduct.

Subpart A: Academic Honesty. A fundamental concept of all educational institutions is academic honesty. All academic work depends upon respect for and acknowledgment of the research and ideas of others. Misrepresentation of someone else’s work as one’s own is a most serious offense in any academic setting. Therefore, academic misconduct in relationship to academic dishonesty, including any form of cheating and plagiarism, cannot be condoned. Academic  conduct, as referenced, includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    1. Cheating: the use of unauthorized materials, methods, or information in any academic exercise, including improper collaboration (electronic or otherwise).
    2. Plagiarism: the representation of the words or ideas of another as one’s own, including:
      1. Direct quotation without both attribution and indication that the material is being directly quoted, e.g., quotation marks; paraphrase without attribution.
      2.  Paraphrase with or without attribution where the wording of the original remains substantially intact and is represented as the author’s own.
      3. Expression in one’s own words, but without attribution, of ideas, arguments, lines of reasoning, facts, processes, or other products of the intellect where such material is learned from the work of another and is not part of the general fund of common academic knowledge.
      4. Fabrication: the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
      5. Fraud: the falsification, forgery, or misrepresentation of academic work, including the re-submission of work performed for one class for credit in another class without the informed permission of the second instructor; or the falsification, forgery or misrepresentation of other academic records or documents, including admission materials and transcripts; or the communication of false or misleading statements to obtain academic advantage or to avoid academic penalty.
    3. Bribery or intimidation in relationship to the grading process.
    4. Engaging or assisting others in any portion of the aforementioned acts.

Subpart B: Classroom Misconduct. Beyond the act of academic dishonesty, there are other modes of conduct that serve to undermine the academic success of students during classroom instruction. Therefore, students are prohibited from impeding an environment conducive to learning, whether it be during traditional instruction, instruction through technological means, instruction within a learning center, instruction by way of tutoring, or instruction by way of individual study on the campus of Lake Superior College. Hence, any student who is found to disrupt the educative process of another student, or other students, is subject to sanctions as described in the informal judicial process for academic misconduct. Academic misconduct, as so referenced, includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    1. Being openly disruptive.
    2. Engaging in verbal outburst, talking loudly to classmates independent of class discussion.
    3. Talking in an openly abusive manner or disrespectful manner to the instructor and/or to classmates.
    4. Disregarding verbal and/or written instruction in relationship to expected codes of conduct during classroom instruction.
    5. Initiating or participating in inappropriate conduct (e.g., horseplay) that disrupts classroom activities.
    6. Using any device to cause disturbance inside or outside the classroom during instruction.
    7. Continuing to engage in inappropriate interaction with the instructor, after one has been counseled not to continue adverse behavior.

Subpart C: Procedures for Academic and Classroom Misconduct

    1. Informal Judicial Process. A faculty member has the right to remove a student from a class session prior to activating the informal judicial process if that student is interfering with the learning environment and the rights of other students. If a faculty member believes that misconduct warranting discipline has occurred, he/she shall inform the student concerned, both in writing and orally, and offer to confer. If the student foregoes such a conference, or if after the conference the faculty member remains convinced that misconduct warranting discipline has occurred, he/she may, among other options, treat any work in question or an entire course as unsatisfactory, informing the student thereof. Additionally or alternatively, the faculty member may refer the matter to his or her  academic dean. If the dean determines that sufficient cause exists to warrant consideration of additional discipline, the dean may initiate formal hearing proceedings. The student may initiate formal hearing proceedings at any time.
    2. Formal Judicial Process. Students have the right to appeal decisions resulting from this policy. A written appeal must be made to the Vice President of Academic Affairs within five (5) working days after written notification of the decision which is being appealed. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will make a decision and then notify the appellant.

Part 7: Release of Information. Lake Superior College will not release to the media the results of the outcomes of disciplinary procedures resulting from its student investigations, including those which involve criminal offenses. Such records may be released to government agencies exercising jurisdiction.

Date Implementation: April 1, 1999

Date Updated: May 2009

This form can be provided in alternative formats upon request by contacting the Disabilities Coordinator in S1911 or by calling (218) 733-7650 or TTY (218) 733-7705.