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 Code of Conduct

Any student found in violation of the Student Responsibilities Section shall be subject to disciplinary action to include suspension.


A. TYPES OF PROHIBITED BEHAVIORS


The following types of behavior shall be prohibited.


Academic dishonesty shall constitute a violation of rules and regulations and is punishable as prescribed by Board Policies. Academic dishonesty shall include, but is not limited to: cheating on a test, plagiarism, making false statements and collusion.


Students may not cheat:


  1. Cheating is defined as: Students not adhering to the guidelines provided by their instructors for completing academic work. Students may not claim as their own work any portion of academic work that was completed by another student. Students may only use materials approved by their instructor when completing an assignment or exam. Students may not present same work for more than one course without obtaining approval from the instructor of each course. Students must adhere to all course reserves regulations. Violations of this standard constitute cheating.


  2. Student may not plagiarize:


    Plagiarism is defined as: All ideas, arguments, and phrases, submitted without attribution to other sources, must be the creative product of the student. Thus, all text passages taken from the works of other authors (published or unpublished) must be properly cited. The same applies to paraphrased text, opinions, data, examples, illustrations, and all other creative work. Violations of this standard constitute plagiarism.


  3. Students may not fabricate:


    Fabrication is defined as: All experimental data, observations, interviews, statistical surveys, and other information collected and reported as part of academic work must be authentic. Any alteration, e.g., the removal of statistical outliers, must be clearly documented. Data must not be falsified in any way. Violations of this standard constitute fabrication.


  4. Collusion is defined as: Students providing, seeking or accepting information about any academic work to or from another student without the authorization of the instructor. Students may only collaborate on academic work within the limits prescribed by their instructors. Violations of this standard constitute collusion.

B. OFFENSES AGAINST PERSONS


  1. Violations of the penal statutes of the State of Texas or of the United States occurring on district property or in connection with District-sponsored activities constitute violations of the District's rules and regulations when, such violations interfere with the educational process and goals of the District.


  2. Possession or use of firearms on District-controlled property except for educational purposes. As Stated in College Procedure 5.01.07.10.


  3. Threatening or causing physical harm or abuse to one’s self or another person. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to, personal injury, physical restraint against a person’s will, and holding or transporting an individual against the individuals will.


  4. Verbal Abuse in the form of “fighting words,” abusive messages either written, verbal or by email, or words directed at an individual, which tend to incite an immediate breach of peace.


  5. Harassing conduct of any kind including acts based on race, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion, national origin, creed, age, etc.


  6. Stalking, that is, the repeated following or harassing of another person accompanied by the making of a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or serious injury.


  7. Possessing or using weapons, ammunition, explosives, flammable substances, or other dangerous devices. “Weapons” means any object or substance designed or used to inflict a wound, cause injury, or incapacitate, including but not limited to all firearms, pellet guns, air pistols, air rifles, any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, or any other knife having a blade of three or more inches, black- jacks, metal knuckles, nunchaku, fireworks, explosives and biological agents. Replicas and facsimiles of weapons are also considered weapons and are therefore prohibited. The use of implements or substances not commonly used as a weapon or not expressly prohibited by this section may be a violation of this code if used as a weapon. The use of mace or tear gas will not be a violation of this code if used solely for self-defense.


  8. Bullying, that is sever or repeated use by one or more individuals of written, verbal or electronic communication, or a physical act or gesture or exclusion directed at an another individual. Bullying may cause physical or emotional harm, may create a hostile environment, and may infringe on a person’s rights, and/or may disrupt the campus environment.


  9. Gambling, this includes bookmaking, pool setting for profit, promoting or setting up a lottery for money or property, or winning or losing money or other valuables by play or hazard at any game.


  10. Unauthorized or illegal possession, use, distribution, sale or transportation of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogenic drugs, marijuana, intoxicating beverage or any other illegal drug(s) not prescribed by a physician on campus or while on a college sponsored event or trip is a violation of this code.


  11. Interference with teaching, research, administration, or the District's subsidiary responsibilities through "disorderly conduct" or "disruptive behavior."


  12. Hazing with or without the consent of a student. A violation renders both the person inflicting the hazing and the person submitting to the hazing subject to appropriate discipline.


  13. Endangering the health or safety of members of the District, community or visitors to the College's facilities.


  14. Classroom Disruption Offenses. Students who engage in behavior that disrupts a classroom, laboratory, or other environment in which educational or research activity takes place may be subject to action under this Code. Disruptive classroom conduct means engaging in behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor’s ability to teach or student learning. For purposes of this provision, the classroom extends to any setting where a student is involved in work toward academic credit or satisfaction of program-based requirements or related activities.

C. PROPERTY OFFENSES


  1. Violation of traffic regulations: All individuals will comply with the Texas Motor Vehicle Laws and any other regulations established by the El Paso County Community College District.


  2. Vandalism, malicious destruction, damage, defacing, misuse, or abuse of College’s public, or private property including library materials, computer equipment, software, vending machines and vehicles.


  3. Destroying or vandalizing property, or intending to destroy or vandalize property, including but not limited to, EPCC owned or leased property, fire alarms, extinguishers, and other safety devices.


  4. Trespassing upon, forcibly entering, or otherwise proceeding into unauthorized areas of EPCC owned or leased buildings, facilities or their roofs.


  5. Unauthorized or inappropriate use of EPCC property or the property of others.


  6. Unauthorized or inappropriate use, duplication, or possession of keys, computer access codes, long distance caller identity codes, or other security mechanisms.


  7. Theft or unauthorized possession of property or services.


  8. Embezzling, defrauding, or using false pretenses to procure money, property, or services.


  9. Knowingly purchasing or possessing stolen or embezzled property, money, or services.


  10. Any willful or malicious burning of any property of another.

D. PUBLIC/COLLEGE ORDER OFFENSES


  1. Creating a fire, safety, or health hazard.


  2. Falsely reporting a fire or other emergency situation by actions such as activating a fire alarm or pre-alarm cover when there is no reasonably perceived emergency.


  3. Impeding or obstructing an investigation, failing to identify oneself or to comply with the directions of EPCC officials, their authorized agents, EPCC or local police agencies acting in the performance and scope of their duties.


  4. Operating a motorized vehicle in violation of traffic rules or so as to endanger people or property, or having a motorized vehicle on campus except as permitted by EPCC policies and procedures.


  5. Having an animal on campus, except as permitted by EPCC policies and procedures.


  6. Littering


  7. Causing any object to be ejected from windows, roofs, or balconies of EPCC owned or leased buildings.


  8. Conveying information that the student knows or should know to be false, by actions such as lying or being dishonest, forging, altering, or causing any false information to be entered into a EPCC record or to be presented at a EPCC proceeding or to a EPCC official.


  9. Possessing, providing, distributing, selling, or manufacturing any form of false EPCC, federal, or state-issued identification.


  10. Impersonating any EPCC official.


  11. Elimination of bodily fluids or waster, such as urine of feces in places or receptacles not designed for receipt of such substances.


  12. Indecent exposure, including but not limited to “flashing.” Indecent exposure is defined as, revealing one's genitals under circumstances likely to offend or shock others or in a public place.


  13. Tampering with or misuse of any fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire alarms.


  14. Failure to evacuate any building during a fire alarm.

E. MISUSE OF COMPUTING RESOURCES AND TECHNOLOGY

  1. Unauthorized access or entry into a computer, computer system, networks, software, or data.


  2. Unauthorized alteration of computer equipment, software, network, or data.


  3. Unauthorized copying or distribution of computer software or data.


  4. Use of computing facilities and resources that interferes with the work of another student, faculty member, or College official.


  5. Viewing, downloading, or printing pornographic materials, photographs or video is strictly prohibited on College premises.


  6. Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or defamatory messages.


  7. Unauthorized accessing of College telephones to change a voice mail greeting.


  8. Sending an email or text message using an email address or phone number belonging to another person with the intent to cause a recipient to reasonably believe that the other person sent or authorized the communication.


  9. Cyber stalking, that is, use in electronic mail or electronic communication any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm, physical injury to the property of, or extortion of money or other things of value to any person or the person’s family or dependents: use of electronic mail or electronic communication for the purpose of threatening, terrifying, or harassing any person; use of electronic mail or electronic communication to make false statements to any person or the person’s family or dependents with the intent to threaten, terrify, or harass.

F. DISORDERLY CONDUCT


Disorderly conduct shall include any of the following activities occurring on property owned or controlled by the District, or at District-sponsored functions:

  1. Behavior of a boisterous and tumultuous character such that is a clear and present danger of alarming persons where no legitimate reason for alarm exists.


  2. Interference with the peaceful and lawful conduct of persons under circumstances in which there is reason to believe that such conduct will cause or provoke a disturbance.


  3. Violent and forceful behavior at any time, such that free movement of other persons will be impaired.


  4. Behavior involving personal abuse or assault when such behavior creates a clear and present danger of causing assaults or fights.


  5. Violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, or disorderly conduct under circumstances in which there is reason to believe that such conduct will cause or provoke a disturbance.


  6. Willful and malicious behavior that interrupts the speaker of any lawful assembly, or impairs the right of others to participate effectively in such assembly or meeting when there is reason to believe that such conduct will provoke a disturbance.


  7. Willful and malicious behavior that obstructs or causes the obstruction of any doorway, hall, or any other passageway in a District building to such an extent that the employees, officers, and other persons, including visitors, having business with the District are denied entrance into, exit from, or free passage in such building.

G. DISRUPTIVE ACTIVITY


Disruptive activity shall include any of the following activities occurring on property owned or controlled by the District, or at District-sponsored functions:

  1. Obstructing or restraining the passage of persons in an exit, entrance, or hallway of any building without the authorization of the District administration.


  2. Seizing control of any building or portion of a building for the purpose of interfering with any administrative, educational, social, research, or other authorized sponsored activity.


  3. Preventing, or attempting to prevent by force or violence, or the threat of force or violence, any lawful assembly authorized by the District administration.


  4. Disrupting by force or violence, or the threat of force or violence, a lawful assembly in progress; a lawful assembly is disrupted when any person in attendance is rendered incapable of participating in the assembly because of the use of force or violence, or a reasonable fear that force or violence is likely to occur.


  5. Obstructing or restricting the passage of any person at an exit or entrance to said campus or property, or preventing, or attempting to prevent by force of violence, or by threats thereof, the ingress or egress of any person to or from the property or campus without the authorization of the District administration.

H. INVESTIGATIONS


Investigations, including searches and interrogations, should be governed by the constitution and the laws of Texas and the United States.


I. SUSPENSION


The District may define offenses for which suspension may be imposed and determine whether the offense has been committed. Students shall be given a fair opportunity to demonstrate innocence in a hearing before school officials. Students are entitled to a disciplinary hearing, including being given adequate notice of the hearing and definite charges in advance.


J. EXPULSION OF FOREIGN STUDENTS


The Institution may expel from the District any student who is a citizen of a country other than the United States attending the District under a non-immigrant visa issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and who is finally convicted of an offense defined by law.


K. HAZING


No student in the District shall engage in hazing or encourage, aid, or assist any other person involved in hazing. For the purposes of this policy, “hazing” shall be defined as follows:


  1. Any willful act of any student alone or acting with others, directed against another student of the District, done for the purpose of submitting the victim to indignity or humiliation without the victim's consent.


  2. Any willful act of any student or acting with others, directed against another student of the District, done for the purpose of intimidating the student by threatening the student with social or other ostracism, and acts calculated to produce such results.


  3. Any willful act of any student alone or acting with others, directed against another student of the District, done for the purpose of humbling, or that is reasonably calculated to humble the pride, stifle the ambition, or blight the courage of the student, or to discourage any student from remaining in the District, or reasonably to cause the student to leave the District rather than to submit to such an act.


  4. Any willful act by any student alone or acting with others, in striking, beating, bruising, or maiming, or seriously offering, threatening, or attempting to strike, beat, bruise, or maim, or to seriously offering, threatening, or attempting strike, beat, maim or to seriously offer, threaten or attempt to do physical violence to another student of the district. Or any assault upon any such student made for the purpose of committing any of the acts, or producing any of the results to such student as defined herein.


    Any teacher, instructor, faculty member, officer, or administrator, who knowingly permits, encourages, aids, or assists any student in hazing, or willfully acquiesces in the commission of such offense, or fails to report promptly the knowledge, or any reasonable information within his or her knowledge of the presence and practice of hazing in the District. Any act of omission or commission shall be deemed “hazing” under the provision of this Policy. Any student of the District who commits the offense of hazing shall be fined or jailed as allowed by law.


    Any teacher, instructor, faculty member, officer, or administrator who commits the offense of hazing shall be subject to the criminal laws of the State of Texas. Persons guilty of hazing may be subject to any law of this state regarding homicide, murder, manslaughter, assault with intent to murder, or aggravated assault.

L. DISCIPLINE AND PENALTIES


When the appropriate Vice-President receives information that a student has allegedly violated a District Policy or procedure, the appropriate Vice-President shall investigate the alleged violation.


After completing a preliminary investigation, the appropriate Vice-President may:

  1. Dismiss the allegation.


  2. Summon the student for a conference.

  3. After conferring with the student, the appropriate Vice-President shall:


    a. Dismiss the allegation.


    b. Proceed with the disposition of the violation described herein.


    c. Impose the appropriate penalty (ies) as prescribed in Types of Penalties in cases where student do not dispute the facts of the charge(s).


    d. Prepare a complaint and proceed as outlined in the Discipline Hearing Procedure when the facts of the charge(s) are disputed.


  4. Summary Suspension – The appropriate Vice-President may take immediate disciplinary action including suspension, pending a hearing, against a student for policy violations if the continuing presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property, or an on-going threat of disrupting the academic process.


  5. Administrative Disposition of Violation – in any case where the accused student does not dispute the facts upon which the charges are based and that student executes a written waiver of the hearing procedure, the appropriate Vice-President shall assess a penalty appropriate to the charges as defined in Types of Penalties, and shall inform the student of such action in writing.


  6. The decision of the appropriate Vice-President shall be final – No former student who has been suspended from the district for disciplinary reasons shall be permitted on any of the College properties or other facilities of the District during the period of suspension without the prior written approval of the appropriate Vice-President.

M. DISCIPLINE HEARINGS PROCEDURE

  1. Hearing Committee – in cases in which the accused student disputes the facts upon which the charge(s) are based such charge(s) shall be heard and determined by a hearing committee that is appointed by the appropriate Vice-President. The hearing committee shall be composed of six members who are not directly or indirectly involved with the charge(s) against the student.


  2. a. Three students recommended by the Student Government Association (when a SGA member is the “accused” student, the appropriate Vice-President shall recommend the students).


    b. A counselor (recommended by a Dean who supervises counselors).


    c. A faculty member (recommended by the appropriate Vice-President).


    d. An administrative officer, non-voting hearing officer, (recommended by the appropriate Vice-President).


    Hearings will not be conducted, however, for debt cases which involve federal, state, or institutional funds. In such instances where these debts relate to grades received in the classroom, the appeal is directed through the normal instructional process beginning with the faculty member and subsequently through the instructional administrator.


  3. Notice


    a. the appropriate Vice-President shall notify the student concerned, by certified letter and regular mail or personal delivery, of the date, time, and place of the hearing, which shall take place no fewer than ten working days after the date of notification.


    b. If however, the student has been suspended, the hearing shall take place as soon as possible. If after a reasonable amount of time has passed and a hearing has not taken place then the student has the right to return to class.


    c. An extension of time may be granted by the hearing officer "upon request for reasonable cause" by either the student or the representative of the College.


  4. Contents of Notice - The notice shall:


  5. a. Direct the student, by certified letter and regular mail or personal delivery, to appear on the date, time, and place specified.


    b. Advise the student of his or her rights as outlined below:


    (1) To a private hearing.

    (2) To appear in person and/or with a representative at the hearing. The student shall present his or her defense. The student may elect to have a representative present, who is not an attorney or legal representative. The representative may not actively participate in the process by posing questions, or responding to information presented. The Hearing Officer may request that the representative leave if the representative does not abide by the rules of the process.

    (3) An exchange of evidence and a list of witnesses expected to testify will be made available by both parties, five working days prior to the hearing.

    (4) To call witnesses, to receive copies of evidence in the District's possession and to argue in his or her own behalf.

    (5) To have the hearing electronically recorded and receive a copy of the tape.

    (6) To cross-examine each witness who testifies against the student.

    (7) The right of appeal


    c. Contain the names of witnesses who will testify against the student and a description of documentary and other evidence that will be offered against the student.


    d. Include a copy of the complaint.


    e. Notify the student that the District may be represented by counsel who may cross-examine any student witness testifying on the student defendant's behalf, or the student defendant, if the student testifies in his or her own behalf.


  6. Failure to Comply with Notice -The appropriate Vice President may suspend or impose other appropriate penalties upon a student who fails without good cause to comply with a letter of notice; or, at the discretion of the appropriate Vice-President, may proceed with the hearing in the student’s absence.


  7. Hearing Procedures - A hearing shall be held according to the following:


  8. a. The non-voting administrator shall serve as chairperson of the hearing committee.


    b. The hearing shall be informal and the hearing committee shall provide reasonable opportunities for witnesses to be heard. The hearing shall be closed unless the student requests an open hearing.


    c. The hearing shall proceed as follows:


    (1) The appropriate Vice President shall read the complaint.

    (2) The Administrator shall inform the student of his or her rights.

    (3) The appropriate Vice President shall present the District's case.

    (4) The student shall present his or her defense.

    (5) The appropriate Vice President shall present rebuttal evidence.

    (6) The appropriate Vice President shall summarize and argue the District's case.

    (7) The student shall summarize and argue his or her case.

    (8) The appropriate Vice President shall have an opportunity for rebuttual argument.

    (9) On the questions of guilt and punishment, the Hearing Committee shall decide by majority vote.

    (10) If the hearing committee finds the student guilty, the appropriate Vice President and the student defendant may present evidence and argument for an appropriate penalty.

    (11) The Chairperson of the Hearing Committee shall inform the appropriate Vice President and the student in writing of the decision and penalty, if any.

    (12) If less than a majority finds the student guilty, the complaint shall be dismissed with no further action taken against the student.


  9. Evidence - Evidence shall be handled according to the following:


  10. a. Legal rules of evidence do not apply in a hearing under this policy. The hearing officer may admit evidence that is commonly accepted by reasonable persons in the conduct of their affairs. The hearing officer shall exclude irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence. The hearing officer shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law and custom.


    b. At the hearing, the District shall prove that the evidence supports the charges.


    c. A student may not be compelled to testify.


    d. The hearing committee shall decide the issue of guilt or innocence and an appropriate penalty solely on the basis of admitted evidence.


    e. A student defendant may have a stenographer present at the hearing to make a stenographic transcript of the hearing at the student's expense.


    f. A student defendant may listen to the tape recording under the supervision of the appropriate Vice President and compare it with the digest.


  11. Decision - The Hearing Committee shall render a written decision as to the accused student’s guilt or innocence of the charge(s) and shall set forth findings of the facts in support of the charge(s). The penalty shall also be stated in the decision. The appropriate Vice-President shall administer the penalty, if any.


  12. Appeal - The decision of the hearing committee may be appealed to the President only on the basis that procedures described herein were not properly observed.


  13. Hearing Records - The disciplinary records and proceedings shall be kept separate from the student's academic record and shall be treated as confidential.


  14. Types of Penalties - The appropriate Vice-President and/or Hearing Committee may impose one or more of the following penalties for offenses listed in the Student Code of Conduct, for violation of District rules and regulations:


  15. a. Reprimand.


    b. Warning probation.


    c. Disciplinary probation.


    d. Placing an administrative hold and/or dropping current enrollment


    e. Restitution.


    f. Suspension of rights and privileges.


    g. Assignment of failing grade.


    h. Denial of degree.


    i. Suspension from the District for less than one (1) calendar year.


    j. Permanent Expulsion. Permanent expulsion from the District prohibits the student from entering a District campus or facilities under control or jurisdiction of the District without prior written approval of the appropriate Vice-President (charges of criminal trespass may be filed).


  16. Nature of Disciplinary Action - The penalties above shall be defined as follows:
    a. A written reprimand from the appropriate Vice-President shall be sent to the student.


    b. Warning probation shall indicate that further violations of regulations will result in more severe disciplinary action. The appropriate Vice-President shall impose warning probation for a period of not more than one (1) calendar year, and the student shall be removed automatically from probation when the imposed period expires.


    c. Disciplinary probation shall indicate that further violations may result in suspension. Disciplinary probation may not be imposed for more than one (1) calendar year.


    d. Restricting readmission shall be imposed on a student who fails to pay a debt owed the District, dropping from current enrollment, and failing to pay registration fees. The penalty terminates on payment of the debt. A hold may also be placed against a student who fails to respond to a violation of District rule(s) and regulation(s). The penalty shall be lifted when the student responds to the summons as requested.


    e. Restitution shall be reimbursement for damages to or misappropriation of property. Reimbursement may take the form of appropriate service to repair, or otherwise compensate for damage.


    f. Suspension of rights and privileges is an elastic penalty. The appropriate Vice-President may impose limitations on rights and privileges to fit the particular case.


    g. A failing grade, or a grade of W (withdrawal) may be assigned to a student for a course in which the student was found guilty of academic dishonesty provided state and federal regulations are not violated.


    h. A student found guilty of academic dishonesty may be denied the student’s degree or certificate.


    i. Suspension from the District prohibits, during the period of suspension, the suspended student from entering a District campus or facilities under control or jurisdiction of the District without prior written approval of the appropriate Vice-President (charges of criminal trespass may be filed), from being initiated into an honorary or service organization; and from receiving credit at a component of the District system for academic work done in residence or by correspondence or extension. Except when suspension is imposed for academic dishonesty, the appropriate Vice-President may permit the receipt of credit for academic work done during the period of suspension.


    j. Permanent expulsion from the District prohibits the student from entering a District campus or facilities under control or jurisdiction of the District without prior written approval of the appropriate Vice-President (charges of criminal trespass may be filed), from being initiated into an honorary or service organization; and from receiving credit at a component of the District system for academic work done in residence or by correspondence or extension. Except when suspension is imposed for academic dishonesty, the appropriate Vice-President may permit the receipt of credit for academic work done during the period of suspension.


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