Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 07-18-045.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 132M-121 WAC, adopting new student code of conduct, repealing former student conduct code.
Hearing Location(s): Lower Columbia College, Administration Building, Heritage Room, 1600 Maple Street, Longview, WA 98632, on November 27, 2007, at 5:00 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: November 21, 2007.
Submit Written Comments to: Mary Harding, Vice President, Lower Columbia College, P.O. Box 3010, 1600 Maple Street, Longview, WA 98632, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, fax (360) 442-2109, by November 5, 2007.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Twylla Corrie by TTY (360) 442-2344 or (360) 442-2341.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Repeal the current student conduct code; adopt new student conduct code.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The code of conduct replaces the old student conduct code. It more clearly enumerates prohibited acts and behaviors and disciplinary consequences. It updates position titles and personnel responsible for matters involving student conduct. It also clarifies college disciplinary procedures and the appeal process.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28B.50.140.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 28B.50.140.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Lower Columbia College, District 13, public.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Mary L. Harding, Vice-President for Student Success, 1600 Maple Street, Longview, WA 98632, (360) 442-2301.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. No economic impact on small businesses. Under chapter 19.85 RCW, none required.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Not applicable.
September 18, 2007
J. L. McLaughlin
STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT
(2) The student is, first of all, a member of the community at large, and as such has the rights and responsibilities of any citizen. In addition, admission to Lower Columbia College carries with it the presumption that students will conduct themselves as responsible members of the college community. This includes an expectation that students will obey the law, will comply with rules and regulations of the college, will maintain a high standard of integrity and honesty, and will respect the rights, privileges and property of other members of the college community. Lower Columbia College expects an environment of integrity, respect, collaboration, cooperation, diversity, and innovation that fosters personal growth, academic excellence and accountability.
(3) The following rules regarding the conduct of students are adopted in order to provide students a full understanding of the rules that will enable the college to maintain conditions conducive to the effective performance of the college's functions. Sanctions for violations of the rules of student conduct will be administered by the college in the manner provided by said rules. When violations of laws of the state of Washington and/or the United States are also involved, the college may refer such matters to the appropriate authorities. In cases of minors, this conduct may also be referred to parents or legal guardians.
(1) "Administration" and "administrator" include the president, vice-presidents, deans, directors of programs or functions, and others designated as a member of the administration.
(2) "Arbitrary or capricious" refers to willful or unreasonable action, taken without consideration of, or in disregard of, facts or circumstances of a particular case. Where there is room for two reasonable opinions, an action shall not be deemed to be arbitrary or capricious when taken honestly and upon due consideration, however much it may be believed that an erroneous conclusion has been reached.
(3) "Assembly" means any overt activity engaged in by two or more persons, the object of which is to gain publicity, advocate a view, petition for a cause, or disseminate information to any person, persons, or group of persons.
(4) "College" means Lower Columbia College or any additional community college established within Community College District 13.
(5) "College community" is composed of all individuals who are enrolled in classes and/or employed by the college.
(6) "College facilities" mean and include any and all real and personal property owned, rented, leased or operated by the board of trustees of Community College District 13, and shall include all buildings and appurtenances attached thereto and all parking lots and other grounds.
(7) "Designee" means a person appointed in writing by an officer or other person designated in a rule to perform a function, to perform that function on the appointer's behalf.
(8) "Disciplinary action" and "discipline" shall mean and include warning, reprimand, probation, suspension, dismissal, monetary fine, restitution, and any other action taken against a student as a sanction or penalty for violation of a designated rule of student conduct.
(9) "District" means Community College District 13.
(10) "Faculty member" and "instructor" mean any employee of Community College District 13 who is employed on a full- or part-time basis as a teacher, instructor, counselor or librarian.
(11) "President" is the chief executive officer of the college appointed by the board of trustees.
(12) "Recognized student organization" means an organization established by and operated pursuant to the Constitution of the associated students of Lower Columbia College.
(13) "Student code of conduct" shall mean those rules regulating student conduct as herein adopted.
(14) "Service," "serve," "filing" and "file" shall have the meanings in WAC 10-08-110.
(15) "Student" is any person who is enrolled for classes or is formally in the process of applying for admission to the college.
(16) The singular includes the plural and vice versa, the masculine includes the feminine and vice versa, and the disjunctive includes the conjunctive and vice versa.
(1) On or in a college facility; or
(2) Whenever a student is present at or engaged in any college-sponsored program or function.
This chapter is not exclusive, and where conduct becomes known which may also violate any other rule or provision of law, nothing herein shall limit the right or duty of any person to report elsewhere or seek another remedy for that conduct.
(2) Refusal by a student to produce identification as required shall be cause for disciplinary action.
(a) Be conducted in an orderly manner;
(b) Not unreasonably interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic;
(c) Not unreasonably interfere with classes, scheduled meetings or ceremonies; and
(d) Not unreasonably interfere with the regular activities of the college.
(2) A student who conducts or participates in an assembly in a manner which causes or helps to cause a violation of this section shall be subject to discipline.
(3) All speakers at an assembly shall allow time, insofar as circumstances reasonably permit, for a question and answer session.
(4) Sound amplifying equipment shall not be used without permission of the vice-president for student success or designee.
(2) The appearance of an invited speaker at the college does not represent an endorsement, either implicit or explicit, by the college.
(3) The scheduling of facilities for hearing invited speakers shall be made through the student activities office.
(4) All speakers shall allow time, insofar as circumstances reasonably permit, for a question and answer session.
(2) All students and nonstudents shall register with the director of student activities prior to distributing any handbill, leaflet, newspaper or related matter, including, but not limited to, materials to be posted on college bulletin boards. Materials to be posted on college bulletin boards shall have prior approval by the director of student activities.
(3) The distribution of materials is prohibited in parking areas.
(4) All handbills, leaflets, newspapers and similar materials should identify the publisher and the distributing organization or individual.
(5) Distribution by means of accosting individuals or unreasonably disruptive behavior is prohibited.
(6) Any student who violates any provision of this rule relating to the distribution and sale of handbills, leaflets, newspapers or similar materials shall be subject to discipline.
(7) Any distribution of the materials regulated in this section shall not be construed as approval of the same by the college.
(2) Denial of access decisions may be appealed, as or like disciplinary actions, to the student conduct committee.
(a) Prohibit the entry of any person, or withdraw from any person the license or permission to enter onto or remain upon any portion of a college facility;
(b) Give notice against trespass to any person from whom the license or permission has been withdrawn or who has been prohibited from entering onto or remaining upon all or any portion of a college facility;
(c) Order any person to leave or vacate all or any portion of a college facility.
(2) Any student who disobeys a lawful order given by the vice-president for student success or designee pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be subject to discipline.
In addition, any group or organization found to have knowingly permitted hazing to be conducted by its members or by others subject to its direction or control shall be deprived of any official recognition or approval granted by the college.
(2) Instructors or building/facility managers have the authority to take necessary and appropriate action to maintain order and proper conduct in the classroom or building/facility.
(3) Any student who is so disorderly or disruptive that it is difficult or impossible to maintain classroom decorum, may be excluded from any class session during which the disruption occurs, by the instructor. The instructor shall report any such exclusion from class to the supervising dean who shall refer the matter to the vice-president for student success or designee. Upon receiving a written complaint and description of the conduct, the vice-president for student success or designee may initiate disciplinary action as provided in this policy.
(4) A building/facility manager may exclude a student for the single day in which such disorderly or disruptive behavior occurs. The building/facility manager shall report the infraction and exclusion in writing to the vice-president for student success or designee at the earliest opportunity. Upon receiving a written complaint and description of the conduct, the vice-president for student success or designee may initiate disciplinary action as provided in this policy.
Any student who stalks another person, defined as the willful malicious and/or repeated following or contact of another person with the reasonable intent of creating fear or emotional distress, and/or the making of a threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or bodily harm, shall be subject to discipline.
(2) Any student who uses college computers or electronic communication devices for other than legitimate college activities, or violates the Student Computing Resources Policy, or uses computers to view pornography, or download music or videos using any program, web sites, servers, or other network equipment, is subject to discipline.
(2) The vice-president for student success or designee is responsible for initiating disciplinary proceedings for violations of the student code of conduct.
(3) The vice-president for student success may conduct an investigation to determine if the complaint has merit and/or if the matter(s) can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the vice-president for student success or designee. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges described in the complaint are not admitted and/or cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the vice-president for student success or designee may later serve in the same matter as the student conduct committee or a member thereof. If the student admits violating code of conduct rules, but sanctions are not agreed to, subsequent process, including a hearing if necessary, shall be limited to determining the appropriate sanction(s).
(4) In order that any informality in disciplinary proceedings not mislead any student as to the seriousness of the matter under consideration, the vice-president for student success shall inform the student of the rule that he or she is charged with violating, and what appear to be the range of sanctions, if any.
(5) The vice-president for student success, or designee, after meeting or attempting to meet with the student, and considering the evidence in the complaint, may take any of the following actions:
(a) Terminate the proceeding, exonerating the student or students.
(b) Dismiss the case after providing whatever counseling and advice may be appropriate.
(c) Impose verbal warning or reprimand not subject to student's right of appeal.
(d) Impose additional disciplinary sanctions, subject to the student's right of appeal as described in this procedure. The student shall be notified in writing of the action taken, the reason for the decision and information about the appeals process.
(e) Refer the matter to the student conduct committee for appropriate action. The student shall be notified in writing that the matter has been referred to the committee.
(6) If the student fails to appear at the scheduled meeting without prior notification or evidence of extenuating circumstances, the vice-president for student success may impose any sanctions authorized by this code.
(7) The written decision of the vice-president for student success shall become final unless appealed.
Any of the following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed for violations of one or more provisions of this student code of conduct:
(1) Warning: An oral or written notice to a student that college expectations about conduct have not been met.
(2) Reprimand: A written notice, designated as a reprimand, which censures a student for improper conduct and includes a warning that continuation or repetition of improper conduct may result in other, further discipline.
(3) Probation: A written statement placing specific conditions upon the student's continued attendance at the college, for a stated period of time not exceeding termination of the student's enrollment. Violation of any such condition shall be cause for further disciplinary action.
(4) Suspension or dismissal: Written termination of status as a student at the college, for a period of time that is limited (suspension) or indefinite or open-ended (dismissal). The written notice shall indicate any condition(s) for readmission, and that written application for readmission must be made to the vice-president for student success. Upon receipt of such an application, with justification deemed adequate by the vice-president for student success, the student may be readmitted. No fees will be refunded for the quarter in which the action is taken.
(5) Monetary fine or restitution: A written order, alone or combined with another disciplinary action, requiring the student to pay, within a stated time limit, appropriate restitution for a financial loss caused by the student's misconduct and/or a monetary fine not exceeding one quarter's tuition. Failure to pay shall be cause for further disciplinary action and/or canceling and barring the student's registration and/or withholding a degree.
(2) The student conduct committee shall be composed of five members, who will be chosen no later than November 1st of each academic year. The committee members shall be selected as follows:
(a) One administrator or exempt employee appointed by the president of the college or a designee;
(b) An exempt employee or other supervisory employee appointed by the president of the college;
(c) Two members of the tenured faculty, appointed by the president of the Lower Columbia College Faculty Association of Higher Education ("LCCFAHE");
(d) One representative from the student body appointed by ASLCC executive council;
(e) Two alternates for each position will be appointed at the same time. Additional alternates may be appointed at such time as necessary.
(3) None of the above-named persons shall sit on any case in which he or she is a complainant or witness; or in which he or she has a direct or personal interest, in which he/she has acted previously in an advisory or official capacity. Decisions in this regard, including the selection of alternates, shall be made by the committee as a whole. The chair of the student conduct committee shall be elected by members of the committee.
Disciplinary action by any college employee may be appealed to, and shall be reviewed by, the vice-president for student success or designee.
Disciplinary action imposed by the vice-president for student success may be appealed to, and shall be reviewed by, the student conduct committee.
Disciplinary action by the student conduct committee may be appealed to and shall be reviewed by the college president or his/her designee. The president of the college or his/her designated representative, after reviewing the case, including the decision of the committee and any statements filed by the student, shall either indicate his/her approval of the conclusions of the committee by sustaining its decision, shall give directions as to what other disciplinary action shall be taken by modifying its decision or shall nullify previous sanctions imposed by reversing its decision. The president shall then notify the vice-president for student success, the student and the committee chair. The decision of the president is final.
(2) The vice-president for student success may withdraw a student organization's recognition and funding for good cause. Such cause shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) Failure to comply with this rule or other college requirements; or
Additional sanctions for group or organization misconduct may include revocation of the use of college facilities for a specified period of time, denial of funds, as well as other appropriate sanctions permitted under this code. Sanctions imposed on groups or organizations are subject to the appeal process upon request.
(2) The vice-president for student success or designee may summarily suspend a student for a period of up to five academic days; and/or for any time period through the final determination of the student's appeal by the student conduct committee. During summary suspension, a student shall be denied access to the campus (including classes) and/or all other activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the vice-president for student success or designee may determine to be appropriate. The student may enter college premises only to meet with the vice-president for student success or designee; to deliver a written appeal; to attend a hearing; or as otherwise permitted by the vice-president for student success.
(3) The vice-president for student success shall give the student oral or written notice of the reasons for summary suspension, duration of the summary suspension, and of any possible additional disciplinary action that may be taken. If oral notice is given, written notice shall follow within two calendar days. In addition, the vice-president for student success shall set a date for an informal hearing on the summary suspension as soon as practicable.
(a) The presiding officer for an informal hearing shall be an administrator designated by the college president other than the administrator who initially imposed the summary suspension. The presiding officer will decide whether reasonable cause exists to support and continue the summary suspension.
(b) The presiding officer shall issue a written decision within two days of the informal hearing. If summary suspension is continued, the written notice shall stipulate the duration of the summary suspension and conditions under which they may be terminated.
(c) The student may request a de novo review of the informal hearing decision before the student conduct committee. Either party may request the review to be consolidated with any other disciplinary proceeding arising from the same matter.
(4) At the end of the summary suspension period, the student shall be reinstated to prior status subject to any other disciplinary sanctions that may have been imposed.
(2) The student's failure to answer the charges, appear at the hearing or cooperate in the hearing shall not preclude the student conduct committee from making its findings of facts, conclusions, and recommendations. This shall not limit the possibility of a default pursuant to RCW 34.05.440.
(3) The committee chair shall give written notice of the time and place of the hearing to all parties in accordance with RCW 34.05.434 and WAC 10-08-040. Such notice shall be given not less than ten calendar days before the date set for the hearing.
(4) The student shall be entitled to:
(a) Hear and examine the evidence against him/her and be informed of the identity of its source; and
(b) Present evidence and argument in his/her own behalf and to cross-examine witnesses.
(5) The student may have one advisor present at the hearing. The advisor may be allowed to advise the student during the proceedings, but is not permitted to speak to the committee; conduct examinations of witnesses; or disrupt the proceeding. No attorney representative of any party may participate in a hearing unless a notice of appearance has been filed and served at least five days before the hearing, but in the event of such notice the college may be represented by an assistant attorney general.
(6) In all disciplinary proceedings, the college may be represented by a designee appointed by the vice-president for student success; that designee may then present the college's case against the student accused of violating the rules of conduct.
(7) The presiding officer is responsible for causing the hearing to be recorded. All hearings shall be recorded by manual, electronic, or other type of recording device. Hearings shall be recorded in accordance with WAC 10-08-170.
(8) The record in an adjudicative proceeding shall consist of all documents as required by law and as specified in RCW 34.05.476 as now or hereafter amended.
(9) The time of the hearing may be continued for good cause by the committee chair upon timely request of any party.
(10) In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g, hearings conducted by the student conduct committee will be held in closed session; provided, the student(s) involved may waive in writing this requirement and request the hearing to be held in open session. The chair may exclude from the hearing room any person who is disruptive of the proceedings and may limit the number who may attend the hearing in order to afford orderliness to the proceedings. Any person attending the disciplinary hearing who continues to disrupt the proceedings after the chair has asked him/her to cease or leave the hearing room shall be subject to disciplinary action.
(a) Only initial and final orders in cases where a student's grievance has been sustained or a disciplinary action against a student has been reversed and the student fully exonerated;
(b) The complete records, including all orders, in all other cases where adjudication has been requested;
(c) A list or other summary of all disciplinary actions reported or known to the vice-president and not appealed.
(2) Final disciplinary actions shall be entered into student records, provided that the vice-president for student success shall have discretion to remove some or all of that information from a student's record upon the student's request and showing of good cause.
(2) The chair of the student conduct committee shall, in the course of presiding at the disciplinary hearing, give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by the law and exclude incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial and unduly repetitious evidence. Hearsay evidence is admissible.
(3) Evidence or testimony to be offered by or on behalf of the student in extenuation or mitigation shall not be presented or considered until all substantive evidence or testimony has been presented.
(a) That the college terminate the proceedings and exonerate the student; or
(b) That the college impose any of the disciplinary actions as provided in this chapter.
(2) Within ninety days specified in RCW 34.05.461, and preferably within thirty days, the chair shall serve on the parties and the president an initial order. At the same time, a full and complete record of the proceedings shall also be transmitted to the president. The initial order shall include a statement of findings and conclusions and otherwise comply with RCW 34.05.461 and WAC 10-08-210. It shall also describe the available administrative review procedures specified in subsection (3) of this section.
(3) The initial order shall become the final order without further action, unless within twenty days of service of the initial order:
(a) The president or designee upon his/her own motion, determines that the initial order should be reviewed; or
(b) A party to the proceedings files with the president a written petition for administrative review of the initial order. The president or designee shall be the reviewing officer and RCW 34.05.464 and WAC 10-08-211 shall apply to any such determination or petition.