The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) is a multi-ethnic community comprised of students, faculty, staff and administrators. This community recognizes the need to establish a code of conduct that contains rules and regulations that promote growth and development, guide student actions, and define sanctions that will be imposed when rules and regulations are violated. For the benefit of the community at large, these regulations limit certain behaviors and activities. They also protect the academic integrity, health, welfare, safety, rights and property of the college. Any student whose conduct violates this Code of Student Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion from the college.
Ultimate authority for student discipline is vested in the Board of Trustees by The Community College of Baltimore County Charter. Disciplinary authority may be delegated to college administrators, faculty members, committees, and organizations, as set forth in appropriate policies, rules, or regulations adopted by the Board. Students may be asked to assume positions of responsibility in the enforcement of the Code of Student Conduct so that they might contribute their skills and insights to the resolution of disciplinary cases.
- The primary purpose for the imposition of discipline in the college setting is to protect the campus community. Consistent with that purpose, reasonable efforts will be made to foster the personal, educational and social development of those students who are held accountable for violations of college regulations.
PURPOSE OF THE DISCIPLINARY SYSTEM
- People grow and mature in communities. Living in a community requires depending upon the knowledge, integrity and decency of others. In turn, the best communities help individuals mold habits and values that will enable them to achieve the highest personal satisfaction, including the satisfaction associated with helping to make a better world. This Code protects the multi-ethnic community at each primary and satellite campus of The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). It fosters the CCBC commitment to excellence and equity, and affirms the shared values that make respect for diversity possible.
STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Unlawful Discrimination
Right: No student shall be subject to unlawful discrimination on the grounds of age, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability in any activity sponsored by the college on or off the college grounds
Responsibility: Students shall not engage in unlawful discrimination against other students or faculty members. Every student shall treat all members of the college community with respect and courtesy.
Freedom of Expression and Inquiry
Right: Students have First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and inquiry. Such freedom is protected in order to build a community dedicated to the pursuit of truth, grounded in respect for diversity and civil discourse.
Responsibility: Students must express themselves in a civil and lawful manner that does not materially or substantially disrupt the operation of the college, or interfere with the rights of others.
- Academic Integrity
Right: Students have the right to expect a learning environment where academic integrity is valued and respected.
Responsibility: Students are responsible for demonstrating academic integrity and shall not engage in or condone acts of academic dishonesty
- Freedom of Association
Right: Students have the right to freedom of association.
Responsibility: Students are responsible for respecting the rights of others to freedom of association. When assembling and expressing their views, students must do so in a manner which does not materially or substantially disrupt the educational process or the operations of the college.
- Freedom from Arbitrary and Capricious Grading
Right: Students have the right to be free from arbitrary or capricious grading, and to seek appropriate review of legitimate grievances, as specified in college regulations.
Responsibility: Students are responsible for achieving reasonable standards of performance and behavior established for each course.
- Right to Privacy
Right: Students have rights to privacy, inspection and challenge of their educational records, as provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
Responsibility: Students have responsibility to respect the established privacy rights of others, including the privacy of educational records belonging to other students.
- Freedom of the Press
Right: Students may publish news and commentary in accordance with established First Amendment standards.
Responsibility: Students may not misuse college property (including computer resources) or the college name for unauthorized purposes. Students are responsible for adhering to pertinent state and federal law, including laws regarding defamation, obscenity, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, prohibited harassment, ethnic intimidation, and threats of violence. Students shall adhere to established standards of journalistic ethics, including a commitment to honest reporting, and a responsibility to allow diverse views to be heard.
- Freedom of Speech
Right: Students have the right to express their views on matters affecting college life, in accordance with established procedures for campus governance.
Responsibility: Students have the responsibility to encourage a diversity of views, and to follow democratic procedures designed to create a climate of reasoned discourse and action.
- Freedom from Harassment
Right: Students have the right to be free from unlawful intimidation or coercion, including sexual harassment.
Responsibility: Students are responsible for respecting the rights of others to be free from unlawful intimidation or coercion, including sexual harassment.
PROCEDURAL PROTECTIONS FOR STUDENTS
- Students accused of disciplinary violations are entitled to the following procedural protections:
- To be informed by the Office of Judicial Affairs of the charges against them, and the identity of the complainant.
- To be allowed to request an informal resolution of the case.
- To be allowed at least three business days to prepare for a disciplinary conference and five business days to prepare for a hearing.
- To hear and respond to evidence upon which a charge is based.
- To call and engage relevant witnesses.
- To be assured of confidentiality, in accordance with the terms of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
- To be allowed to request that any person conducting a disciplinary conference, or serving as a hearing board member or hearing officer, be disqualified on the ground of personal bias as determined by the Director of Judicial Affairs.
- To be considered not responsible of the charges until proven responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.
CODE OF CONDUCT DEFINITIONS
- When used in this Code:
- The term “aggravated violation” means a violation which resulted or possibly could have resulted in significant damage to persons or property or which otherwise posed a substantial threat to the stability and continuance of normal college or college-sponsored activities.
- The term “business day” means a weekday (Monday - Friday).
- the term “cheating” means using or attempting to use unauthorized or unapproved resources or information to complete an assignment. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Obtaining an unauthorized copy of an exam ahead of time
- Unauthorized use of equipment, such as text messaging, instant messaging, Internet access, etc.
- Looking at another student’s exam or at unauthorized notes or “cheat sheets” during an exam
- Altering a graded assignment and then resubmitting it for re-grading as if it were the original work
- The terms “college” and “institution” mean The Community College of Baltimore County, including primary and satellite campuses
- The term “college premises” means buildings or grounds owned, leased, operated, controlled or supervised by the college.
- The term “college-sponsored activity” means any activity on or off college premises that is specifically initiated or supervised by the college.
- The term “disciplinary conference” means a forum in which the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee meets with a student to adjudicate an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
- The term “facilitation” means the act of helping or attempting to help another student cheat, fabricate or plagiarize.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Giving another student one’s homework or assignments so it can be copied
- Letting another student copy answers during the exam
- Completing an exam or placement test in the name of another student
- Giving exam information/answers to students in other sections of the same course, or to students who have not yet taken the exam
- Allowing another student to look at your work during an exam, or reporting on exam information to a student taking it in another section
- The term “egregious” means an act of blatant academic dishonesty that interferes with the work, grading or performance of other students or in other ways inhibits CCBC’s educational mission.
- The term “fabrication” means the act of falsifying, inventing, or changing any information, data or citation and then recording or reporting it.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Falsifying laboratory or other exercise results
- Creating or fabricating a citation
- Changing or omitting data or result
- The term “group” means a number of persons who are associated with each other, but who have not complied with college requirements for registration as an organization.
- The term “hearing board” means a forum in which a hearing panel meets with a student to adjudicate an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct that is subject to suspension or expulsion.
- The term “organization” means a number of persons who have complied with college requirements for registration.
- The term “plagiarism” means the use of words or ideas of another source without giving credit to that source.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Using another’s opinion
- Facts or data including graphs and tables
- Using quotations and paraphrasing without due credit. The term source refers to all published and unpublished works. This is separate from copyright infringement, which is unauthorized use of copyrighted material in a manner that violates one of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights
- The term “reckless” means conduct which one should reasonably be expected to know would create a substantial risk of harm to persons or property or which would otherwise be likely to result in interference with normal college or college-sponsored activities.
- The term “student” means any person for whom the college maintains educational records, as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and related regulations.
- The term “weapon” includes, but is not limited to, firearms, explosives, metal knuckles, knives with blades more than 3 inches long, or any other instrument or substance identified as a weapon by the Maryland Annotated Code, Criminal Law Article, Section 4-101.
- The terms “will” or “shall” are used in the imperative sense.
INTERPRETATION OF REGULATIONS
- The purpose of publishing disciplinary regulations is to give students general notice of prohibited behavior. This Code is not written with the specificity of a criminal statute.
- The college reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community. Such action may include taking disciplinary action against those students whose behavior off college premises indicates that they pose a substantial danger to others.
Violations of Federal, State or Local Law and College Regulations
- Students may be accountable both to civil authorities and to the college for acts that constitute violations of law and of this Code. Disciplinary action at the college will normally proceed during the pendency of criminal proceedings, and will not be subject to challenge on the ground that criminal charges involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced.
- The Director of Judicial Affairs (DJA) or designee at any CCBC campus may suspend a student from the college for an interim period pending disciplinary or criminal proceedings, or medical evaluation. The interim suspension shall become immediately effective without prior notice whenever there is evidence that the continued presence of the student at the college poses a substantial and immediate threat to him/herself or to others or to the stability and continuance of normal college functions.
- A student suspended on an interim basis shall be given a prompt opportunity to appear personally before the Dean of College Life or designee in order to discuss the following issues only:
- the reliability of the information concerning the student’s conduct, including the matter of his or her identity;
- whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the student on college premises poses a substantial and immediate threat to himself or herself or to others or the stability and continuance of normal college functions.
STANDARDS OF CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR
- Primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment rests with the faculty member. Students who engage in any prohibited or unlawful acts that result in disruption of a class may be directed by the faculty member to leave the class for the remainder of the class period. Longer suspensions from a class, or dismissal on disciplinary grounds, must be proceeded by a hearing or disciplinary conference.
- Academic integrity is a core institutional value at CCBC. Students, faculty, administrators and staff have the right to expect a learning environment where academic integrity is valued and respected. To protect that right, it is essential that faculty address academic integrity issues when an incident is first identified. If academic dishonesty is established, the standard penalty for a first offense is an F in the course. Lesser penalties may be imposed if significant mitigating factors are present. A student remains subject to suspension or expulsion, even for a first offense, if the alleged misconduct is deemed egregious or harmful to CCBC’s educational mission.
The Judicial Affairs Advocate (JAA) will serve as the resource to faculty and students regarding the Code of Conduct in order to ensure due process.
- A faculty member who observes an act of apparent academic dishonesty or receives an allegation of academic dishonesty, e.g., cheating, fabrication, facilitation and/or plagiarism, will investigate the incident or allegation. The faculty member will, with the department chairperson, determine what further action the evidence warrants.
- If the evidence is not sufficient to indicate that an act of academic dishonesty occurred, the faculty member will request a meeting with the student to discuss the incident within ten (10) business days. If the student does not respond, the faculty member will inform the student in writing of the allegation of academic dishonesty and that evidence does not support further action.
- If the evidence of an act of academic dishonesty is convincing, the faculty member will complete the Student Incident Report (SIR) form and request a meeting with the student to be held ten (10) business days of the discovery of the alleged violation.
- The faculty member may assign a grade sanction (section 22.i. of the Code of Conduct) and will inform the student in person or in writing via the students CCBC e-mail account. If the sanction is a reduced grade in the course, the student may not receive a W or AU.
- The faculty member will submit the SIR form electronically and attach documentation.
- During the period of investigation and/or adjudication, the student cannot drop the class in question.
- All student who have been found responsible for an academic Integrity violation will be sent a letter from the Office of Judicial Affairs notifying them of the violation and warning them that additional violations could lead to suspension or expulsion from the college.
- The student may appeal the findings and sanctions to the Director of Judicial Affairs (DJA) in writing within three (3) business days of notification of the sanction. If the student appeals, the imposition of the sanction will be delayed until the appeal process is complete. The student will not be permitted to change the grade in the course wherein the alleged academic dishonesty occurred to a W or an AU during the appeal process. If the appeal process extends beyond the end of the semester, an “I” grade may be assigned for that course until the appeal is resolved.
- Within ten (10) business days of the appeal, the JAA will review the documentation for compliance with the Code of Conduct, search the repository for evidence of prior violations, and make recommendations to the DJA. The DJA will inform the faculty member of the status of the appeal in writing.
- The DJA will review the JAA recommendations and:
- If the evidence suggests that the academic dishonesty was egregious or repeated and suspension or expulsion is appropriate, the DJA will refer the case to a Hearing Board. Within fifteen (15) business days of the notification of the case, a Hearing Board will convene and make recommendations to the DJA, who will review the recommendations for compliance with the Code of Conduct and forward them to the Academic Dean. The Academic Dean will inform the faculty member of the status of the appeal in writing.
- If the evidence suggests that a sanction other than suspension or expulsion is appropriate, within ten (10) business days of notification of the case, the DJA will make a decision and inform the student, faculty member involved and appropriate Academic Dean.
- The Academic Dean may accept or modify the recommendations within ten (10) business days of receipt of the DJA’s decision and will inform the student, the faculty member and the DJA in writing of the decision. At this point the faculty member will make any necessary grade adjustment.
- The Academic Dean’s decision is final except when the sanction is suspension or expulsion. In these cases, within ten (10) business days of notification of the decision, the student will have the right to appeal to the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services (section 46 of the Code of Conduct). Within ten (10) business days of the notification of the appeal, the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services will inform the student, the faculty member, the Academic Dean and the DJA of the final decision.
- CCBC expects that its students will adhere to high standards of good citizenship. The following misconduct is subject to disciplinary action as determined by the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee:
- Physical Harassment- Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm to any person on college premises or at college-sponsored activities, or intentionally or causing reasonable apprehension of such harm.
- Sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. Sexual misconduct includes any sexual act or sexual contact, without consent, including intercourse, oral sex, unwanted touching of an intimate part of another person, such as sexual organs, buttocks or breasts; or an attempt of any of the above (this description is not intended to be inclusive of all conduct that could fall within this category). For purposes of this Policy, consent is defined as an affirmative indication of a voluntary agreement to engage in the particular sexual act or conduct in question. Consent cannot be obtained through the use of force, threat or intimidation. Consent cannot be given by someone who is so intoxicated and/or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol or for any other reason as not to be able effectively to communicate an unwillingness to consent or so as not to be able to understand the nature of the conduct being engaged in. Silence on the part of the victim does not necessarily constitute consent. Each case will be judged on its particular facts. Drug or alcohol intoxication of the offender is not a defense to a charge of sexual misconduct and will not be considered a mitigating factor in assessing an appropriate sanction as defined in published college regulations.
- Unauthorized use, possession or storage of any weapon on college premises or at college-sponsored activities
- Intentionally initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning or threat of fire, explosion or other emergency on college premises or at college-sponsored activities.
- Any act or omission committed on or off campus that constitutes a serious criminal offense. A serious criminal offense is defined as an action that Maryland state law identifies as a felony and which indicates that the student constitutes a substantial and continuing danger to the safety or property of the college or members of the campus community. Any student who is arrested on or off campus must inform the dean of students within 48 hours of the arrest.
- Illegal drug possession or use (including drug paraphernalia possession). Unauthorized distribution or possession for purposes of distribution of any controlled substance or illegal drug on college premises or at college-sponsored activities.
- Unauthorized use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (regardless of age).
- Intentionally furnishing false information to the college including soliciting, making, possessing, or using any forged, altered, or falsified identification on college premises, or at college-sponsored activities; soliciting, making, possessing, or using any forged, altered, or falsified college document, on or off-campus.
- Abuse of or interference with the student conduct system: applies to any college hearing or other proceeding under this or any other policy related to student conduct. Includes, but is not limited to, failure to obey a notice or official request to appear for a meeting or hearing; failure to provide information at a hearing or to provide truthful information; falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information; disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a proceeding; institution of a proceeding in bad faith; attempting to discourage or retaliate for an individual’s proper use of a policy or participation in a proceeding; harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation or attempted intimidation of a participant, administrator, or decision-maker prior to, during, and/or after a proceeding; failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under a policy; influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit conduct described in this provision.
- Intentionally interfering with the freedom of expression of others on college premises or at college-sponsored activities.
- Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, facilitation, and fabrication.
- Theft of property or of services on college premises or at college-sponsored activities; knowing possession of stolen property on college premises or at college-sponsored activities.
- Intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging the property of others on college premises or at college-sponsored activities.
- Engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct on college premises or at college-sponsored activities which interferes with the activities of others, including studying, teaching, research and college administration.
- Failure to comply with the directions of college officials, including campus public safety officers, faculty, and professional staff acting in performance of their duties. This includes failure to produce identification when requested by a college official.
- Unauthorized use or possession of fireworks on college premises.
- Harassment or intimidation- Harassment or intimidation: physical or psychological harassment or abuse of any member of the college community or of any guest. Harassment is behavior that either is intended to, or actually does, inflict harm or emotional distress or provoke a violent reaction. It may include use of racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, or personal slurs or epithets, or other threatening, intimidating, hostile, or abusive treatment of any person or group of persons in the college community.
- Hazing: an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that 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 group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act and is considered a violation of this rule.
- Misappropriation or misuse of funds or property: includes improper handling or use of college or student organization funds or property.
- Misuse of electronic devices: includes cellular telephones and other electronic devices. Includes, but is not limited to, use in a manner that causes disruption or the use for the purposes of photographing test materials or for engaging in other forms of academic misconduct or prohibited activity. Also includes any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on college premises without his or her prior knowledge or without his or her effective consent. This includes, but is not limited to, taking pictures or videos of another person in an area in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a locker room, or restroom.
- Misuse of telephone or other technology: includes, but is not limited to, making or assisting in making unauthorized telephone calls, misuse or tampering with telephone or communications equipment, unauthorized use or possession of telephone or other communications equipment or services, and inappropriate use of voicemail. Students should comply with the technology acceptable use policy of the college.
- Unauthorized entry: entry or attempted entry to any college facility without authority or against the will of the occupant or the individual in charge of the facility. Includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized use or occupation of any part of college property (e.g., gaining access to roofs or balconies or using a window as a means of entrance or exit) and unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of ID Card or keys to any college premises.
- Violation of college policy: violation of any college policy, rule, or regulation, whether published in hard copy or available electronically on the college website. Includes, but is not limited to, regulations pertaining to parking (including the accrual of multiple parking tickets), traffic, library, dining hall, campus solicitations, and sales.
- Aiding or abetting another in the commission of any offense(s); soliciting another person to commit any offense(s), and/or attempting to commit any offense(s) mentioned in this code.
- Sanctions that may be imposed for any violations of this Code may include:
- Warning: notice, orally or in writing, that continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may be cause for additional disciplinary action.
- No-Trespass Order: A written directive barring a student from all CCBC property for a specified period of time. Violating this order will result in the student’s arrest for trespassing.
- No Contact Directive: A written directive that sets specific limitations on the type of contact one student can have with another for a specific period of time. Failure to comply with the directive will lead to an interim suspension from the college.
- Mandated physical/psychological evaluation: A requirement that a student must have a physician or therapist complete a “return to campus” form stating that the student is capable of being successful within the learning environment.
- Censure: a written reprimand for violation of specified regulations, including a warning that continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may be cause for additional disciplinary action. Notice of this action may appear on the student’s academic transcript for up to one year.
- Restitution: repayment to the college or to an affected party for damages resulting from a violation of this Code. Probation/Provisional Enrollment specifies that continued enrollment is conditional on successfully satisfying identified actions or conditions for a specified period of time, during which other sanctions may also be imposed. If an additional act of misconduct occurs or violation of any condition of probation or provisional enrollment occurs, additional sanctions may be imposed. Notice of this action may appear on the student’s academic transcript for up to two years.
- Fractional Suspension is the restriction of the student from entering specified areas of college property for a specified period of time or participating in specified classes, programs or activities for a specified period of time to be contained in a written notice of fractional suspension.
- Term Suspension: exclusion from college premises, and other privileges or activities, as set forth in the suspension notice. Notice of this action may appear on the student’s academic transcript for up to four years. During a period of suspension, a student is considered trespassed from all CCBC property. Before a student can re-enroll, the student must contact the DJA or DSL to have their Dean’s hold removed. A student suspended for disciplinary reasons is not entitled to a refund on tuition or fees.
- Permanent Expulsion: permanent termination of student status, and exclusion from college premises, privileges and activities. This action will be recorded on the student’s academic transcript. Any student expelled from CCBC is also trespassed from the institution permanently. A student expelled for disciplinary reasons is not entitled to a refund on tuition or fees.
- Deferred Suspension- Deferred suspension is a probationary period where if a student is found responsible for violating college policy during the term of the sanction, the student will be retro-actively suspended.
- Academic Dishonesty: The standard penalty for an act of academic dishonesty is an F in the course. Lesser sanctions that may be imposed include the following: a reduction in the grade in the course; a reduction in grade for an assignment, exam, or project; repetition of an assignment and/or a written warning. Other Sanctions: other sanctions may be imposed instead of, or in addition to, those specified in this section. For example, students may be offered the option of voluntary withdrawal rather than a suspension. Service or research projects may also be assigned. Repeated or aggravated violations of any section of this Code may also result in expulsion or suspension or in the imposition of such lesser penalties as may be appropriate.
- Attempts to commit acts prohibited by this Code may be punished to the same extent as completed violations.
STANDARDS OF DUE PROCESS
- Students subject to expulsion or suspension from the college will be entitled to a hearing before a student/faculty hearing board, appointed in accordance with policies set forth in parts 33-36 of this Code. Students subject to lesser sanctions will be entitled to a disciplinary conference set forth in part 32 of this Code.
- The purpose of campus disciplinary proceedings is to provide a fair evaluation of an accused student’s responsibility for violating college regulations. Formal rules of evidence shall not be applied, nor shall deviations from prescribed procedures necessarily invalidate a decision, unless significant prejudice to a student respondent or the college may result.
- Any person may refer a student or a student group or organization suspected of violating this Code to the Office of Judicial Affairs.
- Those referring cases are normally expected to serve as the complainant, and to present relevant evidence in hearings or conferences.
CONFERENCE AND HEARING BOARD REFERRALS
- The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee will conduct a preliminary review to determine whether the alleged misconduct might result in expulsion or suspension from the college. Students not subject to suspension or expulsion will be entitled to a disciplinary conference with the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee, as set forth in part 32 of this Code. Students who are subject to suspension or expulsion will be entitled to a hearing before a campus hearing board.
- Students referred for a hearing by the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee may elect to have their cases resolved in accordance with part 32 of this Code. Such an election must be in writing affirming that the student is aware a hearing is being waived. The full range of sanctions may be imposed, including suspension or expulsion from the college.
- The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee may defer proceedings for alleged violations of this Code for a period not to exceed 90 days. Pending charges may be withdrawn thereafter, at the discretion of the Director of Judicial Affairs’ designee.
- Students accused of offenses that may result in penalties less than expulsion or suspension are subject to a disciplinary conference with the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee. The following procedural protections are provided to respondents in disciplinary conferences:
- written notice of the specific charges at least three business days prior to the scheduled conference.
- reasonable access to the case file prior to and during the conference. The case file consists of materials which would be considered “educational records,” pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974; personal notes of college; staff members or complainants are not included.
- an opportunity to respond to the evidence and to call relevant and necessary witnesses.
CCBC HEARING BOARDS
- The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee will establish a hearing board for each campus, as specified in part 25 of this Code. The hearing board shall be comprised of five members from the faculty, professional staff and student body to include at least one faculty and one student. The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee shall be responsible for training and providing administrative support to the board.
- The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee may establish an ad hoc hearing board whenever the regular hearing board is not constituted, is unable to obtain a quorum, or is otherwise unable to hear a case. An ad hoc hearing board shall be comprised of three members which may consist of faculty, professional staff and students
- Both the findings and the sanctions determined by the hearing board shall be regarded as recommendations to the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee.
- Members of any CCBC hearing board who are charged with a violation of this Code or with a criminal offense may be suspended from their positions by the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee during the pending of the charges against them. Members found responsible of any such violation or offense may be disqualified from any further participation in the college judicial system.
HEARING BOARD PROCEDURES
- The following procedural guidelines shall be applicable in hearings conducted by the CCBC Hearing Board:
- The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee will appoint a hearing Chair. The hearing Chair shall conduct the hearing. He or she may participate in Board deliberations and discussions, but shall not vote.
- The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee shall give respondents notice of the hearing date and the specific charges against them at least five (5) business days in advance. Respondents shall be given reasonable access to the case file, which will be retained in the office of Judicial Affairs (Essex Campus- Building A270).
- The hearing Chair may call relevant witnesses, after consultation with the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee. “Notices to appear” will be e-mailed using the official CCBC e-mail account and sent via U.S. mail. College students and employees are expected to comply with ”Notices to appear” issued pursuant to this procedure, unless compliance would result in significant and unavoidable personal hardship, or substantial interference with normal college activities, as determined by the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee. Respondents who fail to appear after proper notice will be deemed to have pled “No Contest” to the charges pending against them. Nonetheless, the complainant will be required to present a case.
- Hearings will be closed to the public.
- Students are not permitted to bring anyone (other than relevant witnesses) to the hearing.
- The hearing Chair shall exercise control over the proceedings to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve orderly completion of the hearing. Any person, including the accused student, who disrupts a hearing may be excluded by the hearing Chair.
- Hearings shall be tape recorded for the purpose of appeal only. The college does not provide copies or transcriptions of hearings to students.
- Any party may challenge a board member or the hearing Chair on the ground of personal bias. Board members may be disqualified by the hearing Chair, or upon majority vote of the voting members, conducted by secret ballot. The hearing Chair may be disqualified by the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee.
- Witnesses shall be asked to affirm that their testimony is truthful, and may be subject to charges of violating this Code by intentionally providing false information to the college.
- Prospective witnesses, other than the complainant and the respondent, may be excluded from the hearing during the testimony of other witnesses. All parties, the witnesses and the public shall be excluded during Board deliberations, which shall not be recorded.
- The charges against the respondent must be established under the standard of evidence of more likely than not (preponderance of the evidence).
- Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable in disciplinary proceedings conducted pursuant to this Code. The hearing Chair shall give effect to the rules of confidentiality and privilege, but shall otherwise admit all matters into evidence which reasonable persons would accept as having probative value in the conduct of their affairs. Unduly repetitious or irrelevant evidence may be excluded.
- Complainants and respondents shall be afforded an opportunity to ask relevant questions of those witnesses who testify at the hearing.
- Board members may take judicial notice of matters which would be within the general experience of college students and faculty members.
- Prior judicial record. The chair or hearing officer shall inform the accused student that his or her prior judicial record shall not be taken into account in determining whether he or she violated the Code. However, if the accused student makes false statements about his or her prior judicial record during the hearing, the board or hearing officer may take into account relevant information from a witness or college official concerning that record for the sole purpose of assessing the credibility of the accused student. The board or hearing officer may take into account any prior judicial record, including sanctions imposed, when determining sanctions for a violation. The chair or hearing officer shall advise the accused that for this reason, he or she may wish to address issues related to any prior judicial record but is not required to do so.
- Any determination of responsibility will be supported by brief written findings that will be placed in the case file and made available to the student respondent by Director of Judicial Affairs or designee
- Mediation is encouraged as an alternative means to resolve most disciplinary cases. The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee shall inform complainants and accused students in writing about the availability of mediation resources, including resources offered by county agencies.
- The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee, in the exercise of his or her discretion, may decline to process a complaint until the parties make a reasonable attempt to achieve a mediated settlement. To be binding in a disciplinary case, any mediated settlement must be approved by the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee. Mediation will not be used in the case of sexual Misconduct violations.
STUDENT GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS
- Student groups and organizations may be charged with violations of this Code.
- A student group or organization and its officers may be held collectively and individually responsible when violations of this Code by those associated with the group or organization have received the consent or encouragement of the group or organization or of the group’s or organization’s leaders or officers.
- The officers or leaders or any identifiable spokesman for a student group or organization may be directed by the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services’ designee to take appropriate action designed to prevent or end violations of this Code by the group or organization. Failure to make reasonable efforts to comply with the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services’ designee order shall be considered a violation of this Code, both by the officers, leaders or spokesmen for the group or organization and by the group or organization itself.
- Sanctions for group or organization misconduct may include revocation or denial of registration or recognition, as well as other appropriate sanctions.
- A decision by a CCBC hearing board is a recommendation to the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee. The Director of Judicial Affairs or designee will make a final decision and notify the respondent within three (3) business days.
- The imposition of sanctions will be deferred during the pendency of the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee’s review, unless, in the discretion of the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee, the continued presence of the student on the campus poses a substantial threat to him/herself or to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal college functions.
- A final appeal may be made to the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services. Only two sanctions may be appealed – suspension or expulsion. A student may appeal a finding of suspension or expulsion one or more of the following grounds only:
- New evidence exists that was not available at the original hearing.
- As student can prove that their due process rights were violated in such a way as to impact the fairness of the hearing process.
- The student feels the sanctions imposed are dis-proportionate to the offense.
The appeal should be made to the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services through the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee, in writing within ten (10) business days from the date of delivery (certified mail) of the decision from the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee. The Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services, after reviewing all evidence and the summary of the hearing will communicate his/her decision to the student in writing within ten (10) business days.
Adjudication of Sexual Misconduct Complaints
a. Formal Procedure
1. Complaint Panel: Formal complaints of sexual misconduct will be received and decided by a three- person panel. A panel chair, a faculty panel member, and one staff/administrative panel member. All panel decisions shall be made by majority vote.
2. Filing a complaint: All formal complaints of sexual misconduct must be made by the complainant, a witness, or friend. The Complaint must describe the particulars of the alleged misconduct. Complaints may be filed with the office of public safety or judicial affairs.
3. Notice to accused: The person accused of sexual misconduct is notified in writing of the complaint and investigation, and is provided with a copy of the written complaint.
4. Investigator: The panel shall promptly appoint an investigator to conduct an investigation of the complaint.
5. Investigation: The complainant and the accused shall each be interviewed by the investigator and may have an advisor with them for the meeting. An advisor must be a member of the CCBC community (Faculty, Staff, or Student). Both parties may present documents, the names of witnesses, and other evidence to the investigators. The accused may not be present for the complainant’s interview unless the complainant consents, and vice versa. The investigator may also interview other witnesses and consider other evidence.
6. Report and Recommendation: In a timely manner, but barring special circumstances no later than sixty days from the date the complaint is filed, the investigator shall make a report with recommendations to the panel. The report shall describe the investigation and all relevant evidence obtained in it, provide support for the conclusions drawn by the investigator, and make recommendations for sanctions or other remedial action as appropriate. The investigator shall arrive at their conclusions based on a preponderance of evidence, meaning whether it is more likely or not that this policy was violated.
7. Distribution of Report: The parties shall be provided a summary of the investigators’ report and recommendations. Either party may view, but not copy, the full report and recommendations upon request. The report and recommendations may be redacted when necessary to protect privileged or confidential information, to protect the safety or well-being of individuals involved in the investigation, or to comply with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
8. Appeal: Both parties shall be given the opportunity to respond to the report and recommendation by appealing to the panel. Such response may be in writing and shall be made within the time frame established by the panel, but in any event no more than 14 business days from the date the party receives the summary. The response is the parties’ opportunity to address any issues, concerns, or disagreements with the report and recommendation, including any concern that the procedures described in this policy may not have been followed, that any sanctions recommended are disproportionate for the offense or otherwise unfair, that the investigators’ findings are not supported by the information provided during the investigation, and that new information or relevant facts have become available since the time of the investigation.
9. Decision: The panel shall review the investigators’ report and recommendation, and any responses made by the parties. The panel will then issue a written decision that includes the imposition of sanctions, if appropriate. In determining sanctions, the panel will take into account any previous violations of this policy.
10. No Further Appeal: The decision of the panel represents the final decision of the college. No administrative processes otherwise available to students may be used to further appeal the decision of the panel.
11. Distribution of Decision: A copy of the written decision is provided to the accused to the extent permitted by the provisions of FERPA and as required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). In such cases the complainant shall also be advised of the panel’s decision to the extent permitted by the provisions of FERPA.
l2. Sanctions: If the panel determines that the accused has violated the sexual misconduct policy, the Director of Judicial Affairs shall implement any sanctions imposed by the panel. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
A written letter of warning, a letter of reprimand, mandatory attendance at an educational program on sexual harassment or sexual assault, mandatory referral for psychological assessment and compliance with any resulting treatment plan, change in class assignment, restriction of activities and/or on access of campus facilities, probation, suspension, or expulsion from the college;
The sanctions described in this policy are not exclusive of, and may be in addition to, other actions taken or sanctions imposed by outside authorities.
b. COMPLAINTS AGAINST PERSONS OUTSIDE THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF BALTIMORE COUNTY COMMUNITY
1. Complaints against students from other institutions or other campus visitors should be reported to the director of Public Safety, who will investigate the complaint and take appropriate action.
2. Complaints against employees of entities that do business with CCBC should be reported to the director of Public Safety, who will investigate the complaint and take appropriate action.
c. PROTECTION FOR COMPLAINANTS AGAINST RETALIATION
1. Threats, intimidation, and retaliation against a complainant for bringing a sexual misconduct complaint are violations of this policy and thus may be grounds for disciplinary action.
2. The college will take steps to protect students and employees from reprisal by the accused. Such protection will need to be appropriate to the individual’s circumstances. For students, this may include the opportunity to change an academic schedule of the complainant or accused , drop a course, transfer to another section, complete the course independently, have a pass/fail option, have a third party grade the work, have another person assigned to write recommendations or references on behalf of the student, or have another person assigned as an advisor to the student.
d. MISUSE OF POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to promote and maintain an environment at The Community College of Baltimore County that is free from sexual misconduct. Any member of the college community who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual misconduct is encouraged to use the procedures provided in this policy, for the benefit and protection not only of that individual but ultimately of the entire college community. However, fabricated charges of sexual misconduct undermine the purpose and effectiveness of this policy. Accordingly, as is the case with any CCBC policy, persons who knowingly fabricate charges of sexual misconduct may be subject to disciplinary action. Allegations of fabricated charges must be reported within ninety calendar days of the date of the final decision. Such allegations may be reported to the administrator handling the complaint, who shall investigate the allegations and take any appropriate action.
e. INFORMATION CONCERNING REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS
As required by the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, the college community is advised that law enforcement agency information provided by the State of Maryland concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained at the following web site: http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/onlineservs/sor/. In addition, the Baltimore County Police Department provides CCBC’s Office of Public Safety with notice of registered child sex offenders who reside in Baltimore County. This information is available for review upon request by all members of the college community.
- In pending cases that could result in suspension or expulsion, a temporary encumbrance will normally be placed on a student’s records by the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee. Permanent notation of disciplinary action will be made on the transcript whenever a student is expelled. Transcript notations of disciplinary action will also be made if a suspension is implemented, although students may petition for removal of the notation when the suspension period has expired. Such a petition may be granted in the discretion of the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee. Factors to be considered in reviewing petitions for removal of any notation after suspension include the present demeanor of the student, the student’s conduct subsequent to the violation, and the nature of the violation, including the severity of any resulting damage, injury or harm.
DISCIPLINARY FILES AND RECORDS
- Case referrals will result in the establishment of a disciplinary file in the name of the accused student, which shall be voided if the student is found innocent of the charges. Voided files will be so marked, shall not be kept with active disciplinary records, and shall not leave any student with a disciplinary record.
- The files of students found responsible of any charges against them are maintained indefinitely. Disciplinary records may be reported to third parties, in accordance with college regulation.
- Disciplinary records may be voided by the Director of Judicial Affairs or designee for good cause, upon written petition of respondents after three years. Factors to be considered in review of such petitions shall include:
- the present demeanor of the student.
- conduct of the student subsequent to the violation.
- the nature of the violation and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it.