The College affords all persons involved in appeals due process. This includes the right to receive written notice of the alleged violation(s), the right to present evidence, and the right to be represented by counsel at their own expense.
Standards of Conduct
The College expects all students to conduct themselves with dignity and to maintain high standards of responsible citizenship. Students are subject to civil authority both on and off campus. The College files criminal charges in appropriate cases and cooperates with public officials in their prosecution.
The following student standards of conduct prescribing unsatisfactory conduct were formulated by the administration. Students are expected to conduct themselves accordingly and to be legally accountable for conduct that is prohibited. Students, employees, and guests are protected by Title IX laws and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Prohibited conduct shall include but not be limited to the items listed below:
- Academic dishonesty including cheating, taking or acquiring possession of any academic material (test information, research papers, notes, etc.) from a member of the College staff or student body without permission; receiving or giving help during tests; submitting papers or reports prepared or written by others as one’s own (plagiarism); and failure to abide by any other academic regulation established by the instructor that appears on the individual course syllabus addendum (Note: The syllabus serves as a contract between the instructor and the student.)
- Theft, misuse, or damage to College property, the property of a member of the College community or the property of a visitor on College premises or at College functions; unauthorized entry upon the property of the College or into a College facility or a portion which has been restricted in use and placed off limits; unauthorized presence in a College facility after closing hours.
- Possession or the use of alcoholic beverages on property owned or controlled by the College or at College sponsored events is prohibited unless approved in writing by the College President. Possession of alcohol in College owned vehicles and other places prohibited by law is not allowed at any time. Possession or the use of a substance in an illegal manner is prohibited. Being in a state of intoxication on the College campuses or College-sponsored events is prohibited. Any influence that may be attributed to the use of alcohol or other substances does not limit in any way the responsibility of the individual for the consequences of his/her actions.
- Mental or physical abuse of any person on College premises or at college-sponsored activities, or at college-supervised functions, including severe and persistent verbal or physical actions which threaten or endanger the health or safety of any persons or which promote hatred or prejudice
- Comments of a sexual nature, including innuendoes, suggestive statements, jokes, propositions, threats, and degrading/discriminating/ stereotypical words whether directed at the victim or made in the victim’s presence. Nonverbal - Sexually suggestive objects or pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, and obscene gestures that are severe, persistent, unreasonably impactful, and outside the scope of academic pursuits.
- Unwanted physical contact, including touching, pinching, grabbing, and stroking, and when sexual penetration occurs may rise to the level of rape (See College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy for complete information).
- Intentional obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration or disciplinary proceedings, or at other College activities including public service functions, and other duly authorized activities on College premises.
- Occupation or seizure in any manner of College property, a College facility or any portion thereof, for a use inconsistent with prescribed, customary, or authorized use.
- Participating in or conducting an assembly, demonstration, or gathering in a manner that threatens or causes injury to persons or property, which interferes with free access to ingress or egress of College facilities, which is harmful, obstructive, or disruptive to the educational process or institutional functions of the College.
- Possession or use of a firearm, incendiary device, explosive or unauthorized use of any instrument designed to inflict serious bodily injury to any person. Possession of a firearm on campus is classified as a felony, except as allowed by law in House Bill 937.
- Setting off a fire alarm or using or tampering with any fire safety equipment, except with reasonable belief in the need for such alarm or equipment.
- The use of tobacco products is prohibited on all campuses.
- Littering which includes disposing of paper, bottles, cans, or any other form of litter on campus grounds or in any building.
- Violation of College regulations regarding the operation and parking of motor vehicles.
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of College documents, records, or instruments of identification.
- Failure to comply with instructions of College officials who are acting in performance of their duties.
- Violation of the terms of disciplinary probation or any College regulation during the period of probation.
- Fiscal irresponsibility such as failure to pay college-levied fines and foundation loans or the passing of worthless checks to college officials.
- Violation of a local, state, or federal criminal law on college premises.
- Furnishing false or incomplete information to the College.
- Beepers, cell phones, and other communication devices must be turned off or placed on vibrate during classes. This restriction does not apply to emergency personnel, but emergency personnel should notify their instructors in advance.
- Use of College computers or networking resources to engage in any behavior that violates any federal, state, or local laws, or College regulations including downloading of copyrighted material or any unauthorized software.
- Engage in any activity that might be purposefully harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating or propagating viruses, disrupting services, damaging files, or making unauthorized modifications to college data.
- Failure to properly display College ID and/or update College ID.
Procedures for Reporting Violations
When a violation of the student standards of conduct is suspected, the observer should immediately report the individual and the circumstances to the nearest faculty member. The faculty member should notify the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator for investigation and follow-up action.
Disciplinary Action and Appeal Process
The following procedures apply when the offender is an LCC student (For cases of reported sexual misconduct, please see the LCC Sexual Misconduct Policy for complete procedures). The Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator will strive to complete the investigative process within 30 days when possible:
- The Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator or a trained designee (the Investigator) will gather information by conducting a thorough investigation, which typically includes documents, interviews with the claimant and/or Respondent, witnesses, and Campus Police as necessary.
- The Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator or a trained designee will compile a summary of the investigation; The Investigator’s findings of fact; and the specific policy violations, if any, with which the Respondent should be charged.
- The Respondent will be notified in writing of any punishment associated with a standards of conduct violation. In cases of sexual misconduct, both Respondent and Complainant will receive written notifications of the findings of the investigation and associated punishment, if any (Please see LCC Sexual Misconduct Policy).
- In cases where the Complainant or Respondent do not agree with the punishment assigned by the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator, either side may request a hearing before a trained committee of LCC personnel to present a formal appeal of the decision. For cases of sexual misconduct, please refer to the LCC Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Through the process of a hearing, a panel of faculty and staff determines – by a preponderance of the evidence – whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated college policy. This standard requires that the information supporting a finding of responsibility be more convincing than the information in opposition to it. Under this standard, individuals are presumed not to have violated LCC’s standards of conduct unless a preponderance of the evidence supports a finding that a violation has occurred. For cases of sexual misconduct, please refer to LCC’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Hearing panels typically consist of three members, one of whom is designated to serve as chairperson. The hearing chair has general authority over the conduct of the hearing.
- Notice: Both Complainant and Respondent will be notified at least five days in advance of the date and time of the hearing and the name(s) of the hearing panelists.
- Recusal: A Complainant or Respondent may challenge the participation of a hearing panelist who he/she perceives to have a conflict of interest. Such challenges, including their rationale, must be made to the hearing panel chairperson at least four days prior to the commencement of the hearing. In his/her discretion, the hearing panel chairperson will determine whether the challenged panelist should be replaced.
- Hearing Packet: In advance of the hearing, the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator will prepare a hearing packet with information relevant to the case for the hearing panelists. The hearing packet will typically include the investigator’s report. The Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator will make the hearing packet available to both Complainant and Respondent at least three days in advance of the hearing. As discussed above, Complainant and Respondent may review the packet at a designated office but will not be provided with a copy of the packet.
- Additional Information: If Complainant or Respondent wishes to share additional relevant written information or evidence with the hearing panel, it must be submitted to the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at least two days in advance of the hearing. The Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator will share the additional material with the other party at least one day before the hearing.
- Witnesses: Complainants and Respondents may offer relevant material witnesses to provide testimony. Complainants/Respondents must provide (in writing) the names of any witnesses they wish to testify and a description of each witness’s relevant information to the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator at least two days in advance of the hearing. Names of witnesses submitted to the Title IX Coordinator by the Complainant or Respondent will be shared with the other party in advance of the hearing. The hearing panel may exclude witnesses or witness testimony deemed irrelevant or duplicative. Participants are reminded that any information shared during a hearing is confidential.
- Hearing Format: The general format of a hearing is as follows: introductions; statement of Complainant; questions; statement of Respondent; questions; witnesses; closing comments from the Complainant; and closing comments from the Respondent.
- A Complainant or Respondent may not question one another or other witnesses directly, but may submit questions to the hearing panel, which will determine whether the questions will be asked.
- Notice of Decision: Written notification of the hearing panel’s decision regarding responsibility and sanction (if any) will be provided to Respondent and Complainant at approximately the same time no later than five business days after the hearing.
Determination of Sanctions
If the hearing panel renders a finding of “Responsible,” the panel also will determine appropriate sanctions to be imposed on the Respondent. Consideration will be given to the impact of Respondent’s policy violation(s) and the Respondent’s disciplinary history. Some behavior is so harmful to the College community or so detrimental to the educational process that it may require removal from specific courses or activities, suspension, or expulsion/termination of employment. Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to:
- A campus restriction, which may include either areas of a given campus or one or more campuses as a whole.
- A change of academic and/or work schedule.
- A no contact order.
- Expulsion: Expulsion strips a student Respondent of his or her status as a student and dismisses him or her from the College for an indefinite period. Expulsion will be recorded in the student Respondent’s file. An expelled student Respondent may be readmitted to the College only with the written approval of the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator.
- General probation: A student Respondent placed on general probation will be given a chance to show his or her capability and willingness to observe LCC’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and these Procedures going forward. If he or she does so for the entirety of the time that the general probation is in effect, no further penalty will be imposed; if he or she violates the Sexual Misconduct Policy or these Procedures during the time that the general probation is in effect, further disciplinary action will be taken. A general probation may be imposed for a period of time no longer than two semesters.
- Loss of Technology Privileges: A student Respondent may be excluded from all privileges associated with college technology access, including but not limited to email and network access and storage.
- Mandatory counseling.
- Reprimand: A written or verbal communication that gives official notice to the student Respondent that any subsequent offense against the Sexual Misconduct Policy or these Procedures will carry heavier penalties because of this prior infraction.
- Restrictive probation: Restrictive probation results in loss of the student Respondent’s good standing and will be recorded in the student Respondent’s file. Restrictive probation limits a student Respondent’s activity in the College community, including but not limited to exclusion from class (es), program(s), and/or specific campus locations. Generally, students Respondents on restrictive probation will not be eligible for initiation into any local or national organizations, may not receive any college award or other honorary recognition, and may not occupy a position of leadership or responsibility with any college or student organization, publication, or activity. A restrictive probation may be imposed for a period of time no shorter than two semesters. Any violation of restrictive probation may result in immediate suspension.
- Restitution: Student Respondents may be required to pay for damages suffered by the College, college employees, or other students.
- Suspension: Suspension excludes a student Respondent from all college privileges and activities for a specified period of time. This sanction is reserved for those offenses warranting discipline more severe than probation or for repeated misconduct. Suspension will be recorded in the student Respondent’s file. A suspended student Respondent may return to the College only with the written approval of the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator.
The hearing panel’s determination regarding the Respondent’s responsibility and/or sanction for standards of conduct violations may be appealed by either the Respondent or the Complainant but only on the following grounds:
- Procedural error that significantly impacted the outcome of the resolution process and that was prejudicial to the appellant, and/or
- The availability of previously unavailable relevant evidence that would have significantly impacted the outcome of the resolution process and the absence of which was prejudicial to the appellant.
Any appeal must be made in writing to the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator within seven days of the notice of decision. The Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator will provide the appeal to the opposing party who may submit a response within seven days. If the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator deems the appeal to be warranted by the additional evidence, he or she will refer the appeal to the hearing panel to re-issue a determination in light of the new evidence. The hearing panel may re-convene the hearing at its discretion.
If an appeal is made on the basis of procedural error, it will be referred to the Senior Vice President of Instruction and Student Services. In addition to reviewing the written record, the Senior Vice President of Instruction and Student Services may choose to interview the parties, the Dean of Student Services/Title IX Coordinator, and/or the hearing panelists for clarification.
In either instance, a written decision on the appeal will be issued within fourteen days of the submission of the appeal. That decision is final and no further appeal is allowed.
As a general rule, the status of a student accused of violating the standards of conduct will not be changed until appeals have been heard. The student may be permitted, at the discretion of the Dean of Student Services, to continue classes and to participate in college activities pending a review of the disciplinary committee’s action by the President of the College.
Prompt and decisive disciplinary action will be taken in extreme cases before there is an opportunity to conduct a hearing, as in cases in which the student’s continued presence on campus constitutes an immediate threat to members of the College community, or to the property, or the orderly function of the College.
When cases arise requiring disciplinary action, the Dean of Student Services will inform the appropriate dean and the Senior Vice President of Instruction and Student Services of action taken. In all cases, the rights of the students and the College should be protected.
Grade Appeal Process
It is recognized that there may be individual cases in which a student should be allowed to make a formal appeal related to grades assigned for particular courses taken at the College. The following procedure will enable a student to exercise this right:
- Any appeal of grades should be initiated prior to the end of the next regular term. Student should not be allowed to return to any lab or clinical area during the appeal process.
- The student should confer with the instructor to determine that there has been no mistake and to present his or her case.
- If the case is not resolved by the instructor, the student may make an appointment with the department head who will hear his or her appeal.
- If the case cannot be resolved at the department level, the student may make an appointment with the dean within whose area the protested grade was awarded.
- Any case not resolved by the above steps may be appealed to the Senior Vice President of Instruction and Student Services who may convene the Academic Affairs Committee. Appeals to the Academic Affairs Committee must be in writing.
- Recommendations of this Committee regarding the appeal will be made to the President of the College within five (5) working days. The decision of the President will be final.
Student Grievance Procedure
The purpose of the student grievance procedure is to provide an avenue for students to express their concerns about faculty and staff. The steps listed below enable students to exercise this right:
- Students first present the grievance to instructors or staff members involved. An attempt is made to resolve the matter informally at this level. Generally, the conference takes place within ten working days of the incident which generated the complaint.
- If the grievance is not resolved at the informal conference, students may present a grievance to the division dean or one related to non-academic concerns to the Dean of Student Services.
- If the course or class involves clinical experiences, students are not allowed to return to any clinical area during the grievance process.
- If satisfactory resolution is not achieved after meeting with the division dean or Dean of Student Services, concerns are forwarded to the Senior Vice President of Instruction and Student Services.
- Cases not resolved by the above steps are appealed in writing to the appropriate appeals committee. Academic concerns are directed to the Academic Affairs Committee; nonacademic concerns, to the Student Services Committee.
- Recommendations of this council/committee regarding an appeal are made to the President of the College within five working days. The decision of the President is final.
- Individuals having disability grievances follow the steps listed above.