2021-2022 HCC Catalog & Student Handbook 
    
    Dec 10, 2022  
2021-2022 HCC Catalog & Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HCC Student Code of Conduct


 Student Code of Conduct 

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HCC, as expressed by its Board of Trustees in policy FLB (Local), views college-level students as adults who subscribe to a basic standard of conduct, which requires that they not violate any municipal, state, or federal laws. Furthermore, no student may disrupt or otherwise interfere with any educational activity or fellow students’ right to pursue academic goals to the fullest in an atmosphere appropriate to a community of scholars. Student conduct is managed through the processes described below, with the advice and support of the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. 

Mission Statement and Philosophy, Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity 

The mission of the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity is to maintain social discipline through establishing guidelines that facilitate a just and civil campus community and outline an educational process for determining student or organization responsibility for alleged violations of college policies, procedures, and regulations. 

We follow established procedures to ensure fairness and educational experience that develops an individual student or organization. Through the conduct process we attempt to utilize experiences that assist individuals to think, evaluate and become accountable for personal choices and behavior, and, when necessary, redirect undesired behavior into acceptable patterns to ensure the rights of the college community. 

Student Code of Conduct 

What follows is the Student Code of Conduct, which includes non-exhaustive references to applicable HCC policies in place at the time of the writing of this Code of Conduct. All current and up to date Board Policies may be found at www.hccs.edu/about-hcc/policies.  To the extent there is any conflict between this Student Code of Conduct and the current HCC policies, the policy shall control.  

Students in the College are protected as any citizen and have rights as stated in the law and HCC policy. Students must, however, assume the responsibilities of being a helpful and productive member of the College community. They are expected to obey applicable law, HCC Board Policies, Regulations, procedures, handbooks, directives, and administrative rules. Policy references included in this Student Code of Conduct are meant to be helpful references which give background information to the applicable section of the Code of Conduct.   

This Student Code of Conduct contains regulations for dealing with alleged student violations of College standards of conduct in a manner consistent with HCC policy and legal requirements.  In addition, more information can be found at www.hccs.edu/resources-for/faculty/student-conduct. This Student Handbook, Catalog, and Code of Conduct is meant to give guidance and background to all students enrolled at HCC, as well as prospective students and alumni.  

The HCC Community, including students, is also subject to HCC’s Board Policies, which can be found online at www.hccs.edu/about-hcc/policies.   

Some students in specialized programs or courses of study may also be subject to handbooks or rules pertaining to their particular program or course of study, in addition to a particular course syllabus. That information is provided to the student by their program, course of study, or faculty member. Questions about course and classroom expectations can be direction to the faculty member or the student’s campus Dean of Student Services or Associate Dean of Student Services. Information about contacting these staff members can be found in CANVAS, the course syllabus, or the Student Handbook. Other relevant HCC processes can also be found at https://www.hccs.edu/about-hcc/procedures/student-rights-policies–procedures/.  

 

1 RESPONSIBILITY AND STANDARD OF CONDUCT AT HCC 

Board Policies: FLB(LOCAL); FM(LEGAL) 

Each student shall be charged with notice and knowledge of, and shall be required to comply with, the contents and provisions of the College’s policies, procedures, handbooks, rules and regulations concerning student conduct, which also include regulations concerning public health procedures. All students shall obey the law, show respect for properly constituted authority, and observe correct standards of conduct. Failure to abide by these expectations may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion. Each student shall be expected to:  

  • Demonstrate courtesy, even when others do not.  
  • Behave in a responsible manner, always exercising self-discipline.  
  • Attend all classes, regularly and on time.  
  • Prepare for each class and take appropriate materials and assignments to class.  
  • Obey all classroom rules. 
  • Respect the rights and privileges of students, faculty, and other College staff and volunteers. 
  • Respect the property of others, including College property and facilities.  
  • Cooperate with and assist the College staff in maintaining safety, order, and discipline. 

2 BASIC STANDARDS OF CONDUCT WITHIN THE CLASSROOM 

An instructor or program may establish additional and reasonable behavior guidelines for class, whether the class meets face-to-face or virtually. Any student failing to abide by appropriate standards of conduct during scheduled College activities may be required by the instructor or another College Official to leave that day’s class or activity or accept other clearly communicated and appropriate consequence(s).  

The student has the right to return to the next class/activity, provided the student has met with the requirements to return, normally meeting with the appropriate Department Chair and/or Dean of Student Success or designee, as applicable, or unless otherwise instructed.  

If a student refuses a request to voluntarily leave the classroom or activity, security/HCCPD may be summoned to remove the student so that the scheduled activity can resume without further disruption. In cases of serious or recurrent behavior problems, the faculty or staff member will document and report the incident. Disciplinary action may be pursued to include a referral to the Dean of Student Success. Other referral options may be utilized in a manner consistent with this Handbook and Code of Conduct. The above policy does not diminish the student’s freedom to take reasonable exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, in a way that includes appropriate classroom behavior, whether in writing, virtually, or face-to-face. Students are responsible for learning the content of any course of study in which they are enrolled and for not interfering with the learning of others. 

 

3 BASIC STANDARD OF CONDUCT FREE INQUIRY AND EXPRESSION 

Free inquiry and free expression, both by the instructor and the student, and subject to applicable law and HCC policy, are indispensable to the pursuit of truth and the development of students. Students must exercise their liberty with responsibility. A student is not entitled to greater immunities or privileges under this Code of Conduct than those enjoyed by other citizens generally. More information about this can be found in HCC’s Board Policies, including FLA (Legal) (Local), FKC (Local), and GD (Legal) (Local).  

 

4 STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION 

Board Policies: FLB(LOCAL); FM(LEGAL) 

The College’s Student Code of Conduct shall be used to address student or Student Organization conduct alleged to violate HCC Board of Trustees policy or any local, state, or federal law.  

A student shall be subject to disciplinary action if the student commits a violation of the offenses defined in the Handbook, Code of Conduct, and those described in other HCC Policies, Regulations, handbooks and rules:  

  • While on the College premises or attending/participating in an on-line class;  
  • While attending a College activity, regardless of the location or method of delivery; or  
  • When acting in or claiming a College leadership role or organizational leadership role; or 
  • While elsewhere if the behavior adversely impacts the educational environment or otherwise interferes with the College’s operations or objectives. 

Each student or organization shall be responsible for their conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree (which may apply even if their conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded).  

The Student Code of Conduct shall apply to a student’s or organization’s conduct even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment. This document governs the behavior of all students or organizations on and off College premises.  

Students or organizations attending functions on or off campus as representatives of the College are subject to disciplinary sanctions for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct shall apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. HCC recognizes the rights of students and organizations to expressive activities, which are outlined in more detail in HCC Board Policy.  

The Dean of Student Success/Designee shall decide whether the Student Code of Conduct shall be applied to student or organizational conduct occurring off campus, on a case-by-case basis, in his/her sole discretion. Should actions violate both College regulations and public law, this may result in the application of College disciplinary proceedings in addition to any legal proceedings. Students with any questions about this Code of Conduct and its applicability may obtain guidance from their Dean of Student Success/Associate Dean of Student Success  

For the purposes of this Student Code of Conduct, the determinant factor for misconduct or policy violations will be whether the student or organization is Responsible or Not Responsible after applying the preponderance of evidence standard.  

 

5 PROCEDURAL DEFINITIONS 

Board Policies: FLB(LOCAL) (REGULATION) (EXHIBIT); FLC(LOCAL); FLC(LEGAL); FM(LEGAL) 

In the code and its accompanying procedures, unless the context requires a different meaning, the following definitions apply: 

  • Absentia“ means in the absence of “or” while absent. 
  • Administrators“ means all Vice Chancellors, Associate Vice Chancellors, College Presidents, Deans, Associate Deans, Directors, and Coordinators of the College.  
  • Advisor“ means any person selected by the accused student or complainant to assist with giving support and resources before, during, and/or after the Student Conduct Administrative Conference. Advisors may or may not be attorneys. As described in this Code of Conduct and HCC policies, their role is limited during the conduct proceedings, and they may be permitted to only address the accused. 
  • Alleged/Accused Student or Responding Party“ means any person accused of allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct. 
  • BITAT” (Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment)“ shall be defined as in FLB (Regulation), the team of individuals responsible to quickly respond to reports of threats or suspicions of threats to the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors, and for proactively identifying, assessing, and managing threats. 
  • Board“ means the Board of Trustees of Houston Community College. 
  • Chancellor“ means the top-ranking official of Houston Community College. 
  • Chief of Police“ means the head supervisor over police and security personnel for the Houston Community College Police Department. 
  • College“ means Houston Community College. 
  • College Official“ includes any person employed by the College, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities. 
  • College Premises“ includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of, or owned, used, or controlled by the College (including adjacent streets and sidewalks). This Student Code of Conduct applies as all locations of the College, including virtual locations. 
  • Class Day“ means a day on which classes are regularly scheduled or examinations are given. 
  • Classroom“ includes physical and virtual education environments. 
  • Complaint“ means a written summary of the essential facts constituting a violation of College Rules and Administrative Regulations. 
  • Complainant/Reporting Party“ means any person who submits a referral alleging that a student violated this Student Code of Conduct. When a student believes that s/he has been a victim of another student’s misconduct, the student who believes s/he has been a victim will have the same rights under this Student Code of Conduct as are provided to the Accused Student, even if another member. 
  • Dean“ means the College Dean of Student Success. 
  • Designee“ means the Associate Dean of Student Development or person designated by the Dean of Student Success to address code of conduct violations. 
  • Department Chair/Academic Dean“ means any person hired by the College to manage departmental programs/activities. 
  • Disciplinary sanction(s) or sanction(s)“ means an imposed decision (penalty) by HCC for violation of a College rule, policy, or law. 
  • Due process“ has its usual meaning, in lay terms, providing fair treatment to all parties in the disciplinary processes. 
  • Egregious violation(s)“ means as an action that goes well beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Examples may include (but are not limited to) organizing or participating in a cheating ring, theft or misappropriation of instructional materials,  impersonation of another student, purchasing of papers or assignments from others, bribery of another to take an exam or complete an assignment, or any violation that also violates state and/or federal laws.    
  • Faculty Member“ means any person hired by the College to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is considered by the College to be a member of its faculty. 
  • Title IX Hearing Officer“ means the person that will rule on all procedural matters in Title IX hearings. 
  • Manager of Student Conduct & Academic Integrity“ means the College Official responsible for supporting the development and management of the student conduct system. 
  • Maxient“ refers to the electronic student conduct management system whereby all student conduct case files/records are housed. 
  • Official College Communication“ means the official method in which all student conduct correspondence will be communicated which is the student’s assigned Houston Community College email, unless the student’s access to Houston Community College email has been restricted for some reason. 
  • Policy“ means the official methods of doing business of HCC, found in the written regulations of the College, including but not limited to, Board Policy, Administrative Regulations, the Student Code of Conduct, the Student Handbook, and the College’s official webpage/webpage. 
  • Postpone“ means to cause or arrange for something to take place at a time later than was first scheduled.  
  • Preponderance of evidence“ means a greater weight of evidence or more likely than not. The preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy. Even in cases that refer to federal, state, or local criminal statutes or ordinances, the burden of proof in College conduct proceedings remains as a preponderance of evidence. 
  • Prima facie“ means the specific evidence that, if believed, supports a case or an element that needs to be proved. 
  • Reporting party“ means the individual(s) who filed the incident report or complaint. 
  • Respondent“ means the person(s) the allegation is made against. 
  • Searches“ mean no person except a law enforcement officer will search a student’s personal possessions, as authorized by law, for the purpose of enforcing the Student Code of Conduct, unless the individual’s prior permission has been obtained. All HCC controlled property, such as lockers, desks, equipment, and rooms will be subject to search at any time, and no student should place an object in these HCC controlled areas with a reasonable expectation of privacy.  
  • Senate Bill 212“ means the legislation passed by the 86th Regular Texas Legislature amending Chapter 51, Texas Education Code to require, in part, any College District employee, not designated as a confidential employee, who suspects or receives notice that a student or group of students has or may have experienced prohibited conduct to include sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, or dating violence, regardless of when or where the incident occurred, to immediately report to the Title IX Coordinator. 
  • Student“ for the purposes of the Code of Conduct, means a person enrolled at the College, a person accepted for enrollment, or an alumnus of the College. 
  • Student Conduct Administrative Conference“ means an informal/formal meeting between the Dean of Student Success/Designee and student/organization accused of misconduct to determine if a violation occurred and recommend appropriate sanctions.  
  • Student Conduct Authority“ means any person or persons given the authority to facilitate or participate in the Student Conduct process including but not limited to: the Vice Chancellor of Student Services, the Dean of Student Success/Designee, Department Chair, Academic Dean, Discipline Committee members, Manager of Student Conduct & Academic Integrity, and the College President. 
  • Student Conduct Discipline Committee“ refers to members appointed by the College President to preside over disciplinary hearings that met the grounds for appeal after the Student Conduct Administrative Conference. Members of an individual Discipline Committee consists of three faculty or staff members and two students. 
  • Student conduct investigation report (summary)“ means a formal investigation of the history of the person(s) and his/her behavior/activity allegedly involved in a reported discipline incident or crime. 
  • Student Organization” (also “organization”) means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for College recognition, or any number of persons comprised of students who use College facilities or services; or any club, intramural sports club, athletic team or organization, which identifies with the College and presents student programs or activities in the College community. 
  • Violation“ means an offense which may result in disciplinary action, suspension, or expulsion from the College. 
  • Violation of Law“ means all federal, state, and local laws, violated on College property, at any function authorized by the College, even if held off campus or affecting the educational environment, as a cause for disciplinary action, in addition to any action that might be taken by the criminal justice system. 

 

6 ACADEMIC INTEGRITY 

Board Policy: FLB(LOCAL) 

When Houston Community College awards a credential, it is avowing that the work is of quality and integrity. A credential is meaningless if it is not honestly earned; therefore, HCC expects all students to conduct themselves with honor and integrity. Proceedings may be initiated by instructors, Department Chairs, and/or Instructional Deans against a student accused of a violation of academic integrity or scholastic dishonesty. 

Prohibited Conduct is defined below:  

Academic Dishonesty“ shall include, but is not limited to, as stated in Board policy, cheating, plagiarism, and collusion. 

Cheating“ shall include, but shall not be limited to: 

  • Copying from another student’s test or class work; 
  • Using test materials not authorized by the person administering the test; 
  • Collaborating with or seeking aid from another student during a test without permission  from the test administrator; 
  • Knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, or soliciting, in whole or in part, the contents of an un-administered test, paper, or another assignment; 
  • The unauthorized transporting or removal, in whole or in part, of the contents of the un-administered test; 
  • Substituting for another student, or permitting another student to substitute for one’s self, to take a test; 
  • Bribing another person to obtain an un-administered test or information about an un-administered test; 
  • Manipulating a test, assignment, or final course grades. 

Collusion“ shall be defined as the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work submitted for fulfillment of course requirements. 

Plagiarism“ shall be defined as the appropriating, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means another’s work and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of it in one’s own work.  

Scholastic dishonesty“ shall also include any fraud, unethical conduct, or intentional misconduct by administrators, faculty, staff, or students, including, but not limited to, the falsification or unauthorized altering of information of a student record (including information in an official student information system). 

 

7 PROHIBITED STUDENT CONDUCT  

Board Policies: CHF(LOCAL); CHF(LEGAL); CT(LEGAL); CT(LOCAL); DHBC(REGULATION); FA(LEGAL); FAA(LEGAL); FFDA(LOCAL); FFE(LOCAL); FL(LOCAL); FL(LEGAL); FLA(LOCAL); FLAA(LOCAL); FLB(LOCAL); FLB(LEGAL); FLBC(LEGAL); FLBE(LOCAL) 

The violations described below may be subject to sanctions under this Code of Conduct and other available legal processes.  

Abuse“ shall be defined as physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person. 

Alcohol“ shall be defined as the use, consumption, possession, furnishing, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic or intoxicating beverages (except as expressly permitted by College regulations). A student shall be prohibited from using or being under the influence of intoxicating beverages at HCC. Both open containers and/or public intoxication are prohibited. Additionally, alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under age 21.  

Bodily Harm“ shall be defined as any injury or attempted injury that seriously threatens or interferes with any person’s physical condition that is long-lasting rather than short lived. Examples may include, but are not limited to, paralysis, loss of limb, broken bones, head, neck, or spine injuries, burns, or serious cuts, scarring, or serious disfigurement. For purposes of this Code of Conduct, violations of this provision include any attempt at bodily harm toward self or others, whether or not the intended harm is achieved. 

Bullying“ shall be defined as the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. HCC takes bullying seriously, and students should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported. Bullying will not be tolerated. Examples of bullying include, but are not limited to: 

a. Emotional: Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures); 

b. Physical: Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence; 

c. Racial: Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures; 

d. Sexual: Unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments; 

e. Homophobic: Because of, or focusing on the issue of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression; 

f. Verbal: Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors, teasing, and hate messaging; and 

g. Cyber: The use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group that it is intended to harm others; this includes all areas of the Internet, such as email, social networking sites, Internet chat room misuse, mobile threats by text messaging and calls, and misuse of associated technology such as camera and video facilities. 

College Policies“ shall be defined as a violation of any College policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on the College website, to include any operational procedures related to any public health/public risk requirements. 

Conduct System Abuse“ - Abuse of the Student Conduct System. Conduct System Abuse includes, but not limited to: 

a. Failure to comply with the notice from a Student Conduct Authority to appear for a meeting as part of the Student Conduct process; 

b. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information as part of a Student Conduct process; 

c. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Student Conduct proceeding; 

d. Instituting the Student Conduct process without true cause; 

e. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the Student Conduct process; 

f. Attempting to influence the impartiality of the Student Conduct Authority prior to, and/or during the course of the Student Conduct proceeding; 

g. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of the Student Conduct Authority prior to, during, and/or after a Student Conduct proceeding; 

h. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code of Conduct; 

i. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Conduct process; and 

j. Plagiarism of an educational Student Conduct sanction. 

Copyright Infringement“ takes the meaning described in CT(Legal) and in other law including the unauthorized distribution or use of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, which may also subject the student to civil and criminal liabilities; 

Dating violence“ takes the same meaning as defined in FFDA(Legal) and / or means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse, or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence. 

Dishonesty“ - Acts of dishonesty shall include, but are not limited to, the following: 

a. Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty; 

b. Furnishing false information to any College Official, faculty member, or office; 

c. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College document, record, or instrument of identification for educational purposes, including, but not limited to, forging or alteration of educational transcripts; 

d. Tampering with any College election process. 

Disorderly Conduct“ shall be defined as conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on College premises or at functions sponsored by the College, or members of the academic community. Disorderly Conduct includes, but is not limited to:  

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

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

Disruptive Activity” - Students shall not engage in disruptive activities while on the College campus or property. State legislation governing such activities is found at Texas Education Code Section 37.123. 

No person or groups of persons acting in concert may intentionally engage in disruptive activities or disrupt a lawful assembly on the campus or property of any private or public school, or institution of higher education, or public vocational and technical school, or institute. For the purposes of this Code of Conduct, “Disruptive Activity” includes, but is not limited, to: 

  • Obstructing or restraining the passage of persons in an exit, entrance, or hallway of any building without the authorization of the administration of the school; 
  • Seizing control of any building or portion of a building for the purpose of interfering with any administrative, educational, research, or other authorized activity; 
  • Preventing or attempting to prevent by force or violence, or the threat of force or violence, any lawful assembly authorized by the school administration; 
  • Disrupting by force or violence or the threat of force or violence a lawful assembly in progress; 
  • Obstructing or restraining the passage of any person at an exit or entrance to a campus or property, or preventing or attempting to prevent by force or violence or by threats thereof the ingress or egress of any person to or from a property or campus without the authorization of the administration of the school; 
  • Committing any act which is classified as an indictable offense under either state of federal law while on any College campus or while involved in any College-sponsored activities; and 
  • Other activities which disrupt the normal educational process. 

A lawful assembly is disrupted when any person in attendance is rendered incapable of participating in the assembly due to the use of force or violence or due to reasonable fear that force or violence is likely to occur. Nothing herein shall be construed to infringe upon any right of free speech or expression guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the State of Texas. Students engaging in disruptive activity may be subject to disciplinary action. 

Disruption of Classes” shall be defined as students shall not engage in disruptive activities while on the College campus or property. State legislation governing such activities is found in Texas Education Code Section 37.124. 

No person or groups of persons acting in concert may willfully engage in disruptive activities or disrupt a lawful assembly on the campus or property of any private or public school or institution of higher education or public vocational and technical school or institute. For the purposes of this Code of Conduct, “Disruption of Classes” includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Emitting noise of an intensity that prevents or hinders classroom instruction; 
  • Enticing or attempting to entice a student away from a class or other school activity that the student is required to attend; 
  • Preventing, or attempting to prevent, a student from attending a class or other school activity that the student is required to attend;  and 
  • Entering a classroom without the consent of the teacher, faculty member, or College Official, and, through either acts of misconduct or the use of loud or profane language, disrupting class activities. 

Disruptive Classroom Behavior“ shall be defined as a student’s behavior which disrupts or otherwise interferes with any educational activity being performed by a member of the College. No student may interfere with a fellow student’s right to pursue his/her academic goals to the fullest in an atmosphere appropriate to a community of scholars. While it is impossible to compile a complete list of disruptive classroom behavior, the following may be considered engaging in classroom disruption, and thereby, may be subject to disciplinary action: 

  • Any form of conduct by an individual or group of students that interferes with or inhibits the educational opportunities of another student. 
  • Conduct that diminishes the effectiveness of an instructor or has the effect of negatively impacting the learning environment. 
  • An instructor or program may establish additional reasonable behavioral guidelines for their class and/or course of study/program. 

Drug Free Schools“ shall be defined as providing a drug free environment for all students and employees at all College locations. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, transmitting, dispensation, possession, sale, offer to sell, purchase, and/or use of controlled substances, paraphernalia, or alcohol on campuses, at teaching sites, in vehicles, and on property owned, leased or under the control of HCC, and at all on campus and off campus, College-sponsored activities is prohibited. Controlled substances include, but are not limited to, such substances as marijuana, hashish, heroin, cocaine, LSD, PCP, methamphetamine, anabolic steroids, prohibited inhalants, human-growth hormones, fentanyl, and other substances considered controlled substances under the law. A student who uses a drug authorized by a licensed physician through a prescription specifically for that student’s use will not be considered to have violated this rule. As a condition of enrollment, all students are required to follow HCC policy and regulations concerning alcohol and other drugs. College counselors are available to students for consultation on alcohol and other drug issues. College counselors will assist students personally or act as a referral source when necessary. All student-counselor relationships will be on a confidential basis to the extent permitted by law.  

HCC distributes to students an annual statement regarding its drug and alcohol policies, in addition to the Student Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct. 

Electronic Devices in Classroom“ - The use of electronic devices in the classroom shall be at the discretion of the instructor. Electronic devices include personal electronics, such as cellular telephones, pagers, electronic recorders, electronic cameras, laptop computers, tablets, and similar devices. Any use of such devices for purposes other than student learning is strictly prohibited. If an instructor perceives such use as disruptive and/or inappropriate, the instructor has the right to ask the student to terminate such use, subject to any accommodations for disability that the student may have. If the behavior continues, the student may be subject to disciplinary action to include removal from the classroom or referral to the Dean of Student Success for further disciplinary action. 

Electronic Media Violations“ shall be defined as inappropriate use of College computers, computing resources, and networks. Inappropriate use includes, but is not limited to: 

a. Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on College premises without their prior knowledge or without their effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom; 

b. Anonymous or forged email messages; 

c. Unauthorized attempts to access another person’s email or similar electronic communications; 

d. Use of another’s name, email, or computer address, or workstation to send email or similar electronic communications; 

e. Use of College email or other network resources for commercial purposes or for personal financial gain; 

f. Access to a restricted computing resource without authorization or use for purposes beyond the authorization; 

g.Transmission of copyrighted materials, without the written permission of the author or creator, through College email or other network resources in violation of U.S. copyright law; 

h. Use of computing resources used in a manner that disrupts the work or educational environment; 

i. Intentional use of College computing resources to store, download, upload, display, print or email computer images that constitute “obscenity” as defined by Subchapter B of Chapter 43 of the Texas Penal Code, and that are not directly related to or required for a specific educational course or research project directly related to an educational program; 

j. The display or transmission of messages, images, cartoons, or other messages or images that are sexually explicit or that demean a person on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, disability, and/or religion, may constitute prohibited harassment under College policies; 

k. Upload or download of unauthorized materials to any College server; 

l. Sharing of an account, password, or other authentication device provided to permit access to restricted computing resources (HCC Guidelines for Computing and Technology Resources); 

m. Students in healthcare programs must adhere to federal laws regarding HIPAA protected information and College policies regarding protection of privacy of the student’s patients. Students may not post any photos, videos, patient information, or any other data regarding patients or affiliations on social networking or social communication sites and/or applications, including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SnapChat, TikTok, Slack, or Instagram; and 

n. Any other behavior using HCC computers, computing resources, or networks that constitutes a violation of Policy, Regulation, or law. 

Endangerment of Person(s)“ shall be defined as conducting oneself in a manner that initially threatens or endangers the health or safety of a person, other members or visitors within the College community or at College-sponsored or related events is prohibited. 

Failure to Appear/Failure to respond to a Notice to appear“ shall be defined as failure to appear for any meeting or hearing validly requested by a College Official with the right to call such meeting. Students can reasonably expected to attend meetings called by a College Official with a business, academic, or conduct need to meet with the student, such as - but not limited to - their faculty members and instructors, Deans and their staff, Chairs and their staff.  

Failure to Comply“ shall be defined as failure to comply with directions or directives of College Officials or law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties, and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so, these include but are not limited to failure to comply with health, safety, and parking and traffic violations. This also refers to failure to comply with the College’s attendance policy or other academic requirements of the College and its programs 

Students who fail to comply with lawful directions or requests of College Officials, including, but not limited to, student volunteers and student employees, or contract service vendors acting in performance of their duties, may be referred to the student conduct process. Lawful directives may be communicated orally or in writing, and may include directives communicated through the College website or other official methods of communication. Students are responsible for knowing and following these directives, and a student’s failure to read written directives will not excuse a student’s failure to comply.  

Students who willfully resist, delay, or obstruct College Officials in the discharge or attempts to discharge the duty of their office or employment will also be referred to the student conduct process. 

Failure to register as a sex offender“ shall be defined as failure to comply with Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Section 62.152, or any other applicable provisions of Chapter 62, which requires that sex offenders already required to register in a state to provide notice, as required under state law, of each institution of higher education in that state at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, volunteers services, or is a student. 

Criminal sex offenders wishing to attend HCC must register with the HCC Police Department at the following location only: 

Criminal Investigation Division of the HCC Police Department 
3821 Caroline Street, Houston, Texas 77004  
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (except during HCC closures or holidays) 

More information about these requirements can be found elsewhere in this document and on the College District website at  
www.hccs.edu/departments/police/crime-statistics–information/sex-offender-information/.  

Financial Obligations“ shall be defined as refusing to pay or fail to pay a debt owed to the College or giving the College a check, draft, or order with the intent to defraud the College. The Business Office sends written notice to a student when the drawee has rightfully refused payment. A student’s failure to pay the College the valid and full amount due on a check, draft, or order on or before the fifth class day after the notice is given or 30 calendar days if the student is no longer enrolled, for the purpose of this Code of Conduct constitutes a violation.  

Fraud“ means deception intended to result in financial or personal gain, including receiving or attempting to receive payment, services, or academic credit under false pretenses, including, but not limited to, presenting false documentation or information in order to receive financial aid or another benefit. 

Gambling“ shall be defined as failing to abide by federal and state laws prohibiting illegal gambling. Prohibited activity includes, but is not limited to: betting on, wagering on, or selling pools on any event; possessing on one’s person or premises, any card, book or other device for registering bets; knowingly permitting the use of one’s premises or one’s telephone or other electronic event; and  involvement in bookmaking or wagering pools with respect to the events. Gaming events, including but not limited to, casino nights and poker events, are prohibited without the authorization of the Dean of Student Success /Designee. 

Gang Free Zones“ - Certain criminal offenses, including those involving organized criminal activity such as gang-related crimes, will be enhanced to the next highest category of offense if they are committed in a gang-free zone. For purposes of the College, a gang-free zone includes a school bus and/or a location in, on, or within 1,000 feet of any district-owned or leased property or campus. 

Harassment“ means engaging in behavior that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to threaten an individual or substantially interfere with the individual’s employment, education, or access to College programs, activities, or opportunities, and such behavior would detrimentally affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances. Behaviors that meet the above definition may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

a. Directing physical or verbal conduct at an individual because of the individual’s age, race, color, gender, ancestry, national origin, religion, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, gender identity; 

b. Causes the telephone of another to ring repeatedly, makes repeated telephone communications anonymously, or sends repeated electronic communications in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another; 

c. Subjecting a person or group of persons to unwanted physical contact or threat of such; and 

d. Engaging in a course of conduct, including following the person without proper authority (e.g., stalking), under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her safety or the safety of others or to suffer emotional distress.   

Harassment and Sexual harassment are further defined in Board Policy. A violation of Harassment as defined in this Code of Conduct need not also violate Board Policy in order to be subject to discipline under this Code of Conduct.  

Hazing“ shall be defined pursuant to Texas Education Code Section 37.151(6), and include all acts associated with hazing as set forth in Texas Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter F. Hazing is defined as any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off campus by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include other students. 

An individual commits the offense of hazing if the individual:  

  1. Engages in hazing; and/or 
  2. Solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing; and/or 
  3. Has first-hand knowledge of the planning of a specified hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution, or first-hand knowledge that a hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly fails to report that knowledge in writing to the Dean of Student Success or other appropriate official of the College. 

The degree of the offense depends on the specific conduct of the individual and the extent of injury to the victim. 

Hazing also includes the following behaviors: 

a. Any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity; 

b. Any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics, or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student; 

c. Any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student; 

d. Any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame, or humiliation, or that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student, or discourages the student from entering or remaining registered in an educational institution, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the institution rather than submit to acts described above; or 

e. Any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Penal Code.   

Identification/HCC ID“ shall be defined as all students and guests are required to provide their name and show appropriate identification to a College Official upon request. Students should carry their Houston Community College identification with them at all times when on College property or at College functions. Guests should carry a driver’s license or other government-issued identification at all times. The following behaviors are also prohibited: 

  • Falsely identifying oneself to others;  
  • Any misuse of an HCC student ID card;  
  • Possession, production, or distribution of false identification cards, or materials to fabricate such, is illegal and strictly prohibited. Any false identification cards found to be in the possession of students or guests will be confiscated, destroyed, and may result in a citation or other law enforcement action from the governing Police authority in addition to the sanctions available under this Code of Conduct; and 
  • Failure to provide identification when requested to do so by College personnel. 

Illegal Substances/Alcohol“ shall be defined as using, possessing, controlling, manufacturing, transmitting, selling, or being under the influence of any illicit drug or narcotic, as those terms are defined by the Texas Controlled Substances Act, on College property or at any College-related events or activities, unless under the direction of a physician. The following behaviors are also prohibited: 

  • Using, possessing, controlling, manufacturing, transmitting, or selling paraphernalia related to any prohibited substance; 
  • Using, possessing, controlling, manufacturing, transmitting, selling, or being under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating beverage without the permission of the College. 

Misuse of Technology” (formerly “Computer and Network Violations”) shall be defined as theft or other abuse of computer facilities and resources without proper authorization. The following behavior shall be prohibited: 

a. Violating policies, rules, or agreements signed by the student regarding the use of technology resources.  

b. Attempting to access or circumvent passwords or other security-related information of the College, students, or employees, or uploading or creating computer viruses. 

c. Attempting to reprogram, alter, destroy, disable, or restrict access to College technology resources, including but not limited to, computers and related equipment, College data, the data of others, or other networks connected to the College’s system without permission. 

d. Using the internet or other electronic communications, including but not limited to use of the College’s Learning Management System (LMS) to threaten College students, employees, or volunteers. 

e. Sending, posting, or possessing electronic messages that are abusive, obscene, sexually oriented, threatening, harassing, damaging to another’s reputation, or illegal. 

f. Using email, websites, or other electronic resources, including but not limited to social media and/or the use of the College’s Learning Management System (LMS) to engage in, or encourage illegal behavior, or threaten the safety of the College, students, employees, or visitors.  

g. Possessing published or electronic material that is designed to promote or encourage illegal behavior, or that could threaten the safety of the College, students, employees, or visitors. 

h. Theft, sabotage, destruction, distribution, or other use of the intellectual property of the College or third parties without permission. 

i. Any violation of described as Misuse of Technology at Board Policy FLB(LOCAL). 

Prohibited Weapons“ shall be defined in a manner consistent with applicable law and policy, to include use, possession, display, distribution or sale of firearms, location-restricted knives, clubs, or other prohibited weapons in violation of the College’s regulations regarding campus carry and/or applicable state law, including explosives, swords, daggers, straight razors, machine guns, short-barrel firearms, knuckles, armor piercing ammunition, chemical dispensing devices, zip guns, tire deflation devices, firearm silencers, or improvised explosive devices are prohibited on any College property or at a College-sponsored or -related activity, unless written authorization is granted in advance by the Chancellor or designee. 

  • “Firearms” shall be defined as any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance, or any device readily convertible to that use. 
  • “Location-Restricted Knife” shall be defined as a knife with a blade over five and one-half inches. 
  • “Club” shall be defined as an instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument, and includes, but is not limited to, a blackjack, nightstick, mace, and tomahawk. 
  • “Other Prohibited Weapons” shall be defined as fireworks, incendiary devices, instruments designed to expel a projectile with the use of pressurized air (like a BB gun), razors, chains, or martial arts throwing stars are prohibited on any College property or at a College-sponsored or -related activity. The possession or use of articles not generally considered to be weapons may be prohibited when the Chancellor or designee determines that a danger exists for any student, College employee, or College property by virtue of possession or use. 

Property Damage“ shall be defined as destruction, damage, misuse and/or defacing of College property or the property of a member of the College community or campus visitor and is prohibited. 

Retaliation” - The College will not tolerate retaliation. Retaliation against any person or group who exercises a legal right, including making a complaint, cooperating with an investigation, or participating in a resolution process, is a violation of College policy. Retaliation can take many forms, including continued abuse or violence, bullying, threats, and intimidation. Any individual or group of individuals, not just a complainant or respondent, can engage in retaliation. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Dean of Student Success/Designee, and may result in disciplinary action independent and/or in conjunction with any sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegation. More information about certain types of prohibited retaliation is also found in Board policies FFDA and FFDB.   

Right to Assemble/Public Demonstration” - Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot, or activity that disrupts the normal operations of the College and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the College community, and leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area is prohibited.  

The College recognizes the right to expressive activity and notes that this violation does not include conduct protected by law or HCC Board policy. 

Sexual assault“ means an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program and included in Appendix A of 34 C.F.R. Part 668, Subpart D.   

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 34, Part 668, Subpart D, Appendix A (2018) defines these offenses as: 

Rape“ means the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. 

Sex Offenses“ means any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent. The following are considered sex offenses: 

a.Fondling“ means the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity. 

b.Incest“ means sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. 

c.Statutory Rape“ means sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. 

More information about prohibited sexual assault at HCC can be found in Board Policy FFDA.  

Stalking“ means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition: 

  1. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property; 
  2. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim; and 
  3. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. 

More information about prohibited stalking at HCC can be found in Board Policy FFDA. 

Sexual harassment“ is as defined in Board Policy FFDA (Legal)(Local)(Regulation).  

Smoking/Vaping“ - HCC prohibits the use of tobacco products by smoking, chewing/dipping (“snuff”), or other methods, and prohibits the use electronic or e-cigarettes to deliver nicotine or other substances by inhaling from the device inside any of the College’s buildings, owned or leased, including offices, classrooms, restrooms, hallways, elevators and all other interior locations.  

Theft/Possession of Stolen Property or Service” - Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the College, property of a member of the College community, or other personal or public property on campus or other property owned or controlled by the College. Conduct covered by the offense includes, but is not limited to, the following: taking without consent the property or service of the College, another person, business, or organization; possessing property that can reasonably be determined to have been stolen from the College, another person, business or organization. 

Threatening/Violent behavior” - Students are prohibited from making threats or engaging in violent activities. Examples of such behavior consist of, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Intentionally, recklessly, or negligently engaging in verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the mental or physical health and/or safety of any person, or causes reasonable apprehension of such harm; 
  • Stalking or willfully, maliciously and repeatedly following or harassing another person in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated, harassed, or molested; 
  • Engaging in conduct that constitutes harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, bullying, or dating violence directed toward another person, including a student or employee; 
  • Engaging in a physical altercation or fighting; 
  • Causing physical injury to another person; and 
  • Sexual assault. 

Such behaviors will not be tolerated and may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to an including expulsion. A student who poses a threat to him/herself or others will be subject to disciplinary action which may or may not involve a leave of absence, individual behavioral contract, or other appropriate response. 

Unauthorized use of college facilities“ shall be defined as the unauthorized use of any College equipment, facility, or operations by any student is prohibited. 

 

8 INITIATING REPORTS OF MISCONDUCT IN THE CLASSROOM/CLASSROOM DISRUPTION PROCEDURES 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

Classroom Disruption Protocol 

Regarding Classroom Disruption, a student’s membership in the community of scholars is a privilege and carries with it obligations to participate in and contribute to the educational mission of the College and to avoid any behavior that is contrary to that mission. Therefore, no student may disrupt or otherwise interfere with any educational activity being performed by a member of the College. No student may interfere with his/her fellow students’ right to pursue their academic goals to the fullest, in an atmosphere appropriate to a community of scholars. While it is impossible to compile a complete list of disruptive classroom behaviors, the following may be considered engaging in classroom disruption and thereby may be subject to disciplinary action: 

  • Any form of conduct by an individual or group of students that interferes with or inhibits the educational opportunities of another student. 
  • Conduct that diminishes the effectiveness of an instructor or has the effect of negatively impacting the learning environment. 

An instructor may establish additional reasonable behavioral guidelines for his, her, or their class. 

Classroom Disruption Procedures 

General procedures that are followed by faculty in the case of a typical classroom disruption are: 

a. Following a reasonable verbal or written warning, if the student’s problematic behavior continues, the student will be asked to leave by instructor. 

b. Security may be called to remove the student if he/she refuses to leave. 

c. Student must meet with the appropriate Department Chair and/or the Dean of Student Success prior to returning to class (all efforts will be made to meet with student prior to next class meeting) to resolve the matter. 

d. Department Chair/Academic Dean or Dean of Student Success will notify the student in writing of the appropriate resolution.  

e. Department Chair/Academic Dean or Dean of Student Success will attempt to provide resolution, and all maintain related documents via the electronic student conduct management system (Maxient). 

f. If warranted, the student may appeal per the student grievance/complaint procedures or by following the conduct appeals process as detailed in this Code of Conduct (if applicable).  

Serious Classroom Disruptions 

Following serious classroom disruptions, such as threats to self or others, or any form of violence, the Dean of Student Success will meet with the student and may implement the following: 

a. Interim suspension when immediate action is warranted. 

b. Suspension of the student from being on any HCC campus, or enrolling or attending class pending further investigation per Disciplinary Procedures. 

c. A faculty member/Department Chair shall notify the Dean of Student Success to conduct a preliminary investigation per Disciplinary Procedures. 

d. The Dean of Student Success/Designee shall notify the student of the date, time, and place to meet for an Administrative Conference per Disciplinary Procedures. 

e. Complete administrative conference per Disciplinary Procedures. 

f. The Dean of Student Success/Designee shall sanction the student as outlined per Disciplinary Procedures, if appropriate. Any appeal made by the student will then follow all discipline appeal procedures per the Student Code of Conduct. 

In the event the student is found not responsible of a violation of a rule or policy, the student will be given the opportunity to resume classes and make up work at no cost to the student. 

 

9 INITIATION OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION: DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES 

Board Policies: FFDA (LOCAL); FLB (LOCAL) 

The Student Code of Conduct addresses procedural processes followed when alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct occur. The procedures outlined below ensure appropriate measures are taken. Any student needing disability-related accommodations in order to participate in conduct proceedings should submit requests to the Dean of Student Success/Designee. 

The College’s student discipline process may involve up to four steps after the matter has been referred for formal disciplinary action, as noted below: 

Step 1: Information Gathering/Preliminary Investigation by Dean of Student Success/Designee 

Step 2: Student Conduct Administrative Conference with Dean of Student Success/Designee 

Step 3: Appeal to the College Student Conduct Discipline Committee (if validly requested) 

Step 4: Appeal to the College President / Designee (if validly requested ) 

Alleged conduct violations shall be resolved at the completion of Step 2, subject to the appeals processes described in Steps 3 and 4.  

Reports of alleged policy violations and misconduct shall be submitted to the Dean of Student Success/Designee within a reasonable time frame following an incident. The reports must be submitted in writing, normally through the student conduct management system (Maxient), and must clearly describe the alleged policy violation or misconduct and any other important information and facts.   

When the Dean of Student Success receives information that a student has allegedly violated a rule or policy, the Dean will investigate the alleged violation. Upon completion of the investigation, the Dean can take action as stated in the Penalties Section of this procedure. 

The Dean can take immediate interim disciplinary actions and suspend the right of a student to be present on any HCC campus, enroll, or attend classes. Altering the status of a student for violation of a rule or policy when an emergency exists requires immediate action to preserve the educational environment. Nothing in this section alters a student’s legal right to due process.  

 

10 NOTICE TO STUDENT/RECOGNIZED STUDENT ORGANIZATION 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

The Dean of Student Success/Designee (“Dean”) shall notify the student/organization via email within seven College business days that a conduct report has been received alleging a policy violation or misconduct. It is the student’s responsibility to cooperate with the student conduct proceedings, including to check the student’s College email address. It is the student’s responsibility to maintain updated contact information within the official College student management system.  

 

11 NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE/REVIEW 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

The notice summoning the student to an Administrative Conference (Letter of Summons) will consist of the following: 

  • Statement of the violation for which the student is accused; 
  • Notification for the student to appear before the Dean of Student Success/Designee and a method by which the student should appear (in person, by videoconference, or by phone) on the date, time, and place specified; and  
  • Notification of Student Rights & Responsibilities as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct 

The Dean of Student Success/Designee can place a student on disciplinary probation if the student fails, without good cause as determined by the Dean of Student Success/Designee, to comply with a Letter of Summons, or the Dean of Student Success/Designee can proceed without the student’s involvement against the student as described in “Administrative Disposition of a Violation.”  

 

12 ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE/CONFERENCE REVIEW 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

Once the preliminary investigation has been completed, and if there is sufficient supporting documentation, the Dean of Student Success/Designee shall provide notice to the student or Student Organization to attend a Student Conduct Administrative Conference. 

During the Student Conduct Administrative Conference, the Dean of Student Success/Designee shall meet with the student, repeat the allegations, and give the student or Student Organization an opportunity to view the supporting documentation, present a rebuttal, and submit other information and supporting documentation for consideration.  

The Student Conduct Administrative Conference shall be held within fifteen College business days following the submission of the conduct case to the Dean of Student Success/Designee. 

 

13 ADMINISTRATIVE DISPOSITION OF A VIOLATION 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

In administratively disposing of a violation, the Dean of Student Success/Designee can impose any disciplinary action authorized in “Disciplinary Sanctions,” subject to the student’s right to appeal as described elsewhere in this Code of Conduct and Board policy. 

During the administrative conference with a student/organization in connection with an alleged violation, the Dean of Student Success/Designee will advise the student/organization of their rights. 

At the conclusion of the Administrative Conference, the Dean of Student Success/Designee will prepare an accurate, written summary of each administrative disposition of a violation and forward a copy to the student and to the College President and/or other administrative personnel when deemed appropriate.  

If the administrative disposition is accepted, the student/organization will be given an opportunity to review and sign a statement that they understand the nature of the conduct, the right to a hearing or to waive the same, the penalty imposed, and the waiver of the right to appeal.  Once the administrative disposition has been accepted by the student/organization, the decision is final and not subject to any appeals. 

In the event that a student/organization refuses the administrative disposition, the student/organization may have the right to appeal the decision, subject to the established grounds for appeal. In the case of a valid appeal, the student/organization is entitled to a hearing before the Student Conduct Discipline Committee. 

 

14 ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE REVIEW OUTCOMES 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

Based on the outcome of the Student Conduct Administrative Conference, one of the following shall occur: 

  1. The Dean of Student Success/Designee shall have the authority to dismiss the conduct case based on the supporting documentation or other information submitted by the student/organization. 
  2. The Dean of Student Success/Designee can request more information or supporting documents be provided by any party associated with the complaint. The Dean of Student Success/Designee can require that the accused student/organization submit the requested supporting documentation or information during a rescheduled Student Conduct Administrative Conference or as part of an informal process set forth by the Dean of Student Success/Designee.  
  3. Written notice for a rescheduled conference, including adjusted deadline dates, shall be communicated to the student/organization by email. 
  4. The Dean of Student Success/Designee can decide to postpone final deliberation for a reasonable time on a conduct case in order to make a more informed and thoughtful decision. 
  5. After considering the supporting documentation and the information presented by the student/organization as part of the rebuttal, the Dean of Student Success/Designee can find that the student/organization did engage in the reported misconduct. If the Dean of Student Success/Designee finds that the student/organization engaged in the reported misconduct, disciplinary sanctions shall be imposed immediately or reasonably thereafter. 
  6. The Dean of Student Success/Designee can take other action as needed to resolve a conduct case.  
  7. The accused student/organization can accept the disposition, given an opportunity to review and sign a statement certifying understanding the nature of the charges, the right to a hearing or to waive the same, the penalty imposed, and the waiver of the right to appeal. 
  8. The accused student/organization shall have the right to appeal the administrative disposition and request a hearing before a Student Conduct Discipline Committee should grounds for an appeal as described below exist. 

 

15 STUDENT CONDUCT DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE PROCEDURES 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

When a student/organization does not accept the administrative disposition of a violation, the student/organization may appeal and request a hearing before a Student Conduct Discipline Committee, if grounds for an appeal exists.  

This request must be made in writing on or before the seventh working day following the administrative disposition. The student/organization may contact the Dean of Student Success/Designee for the appropriate form to submit. If the student/organization’s appeal is accepted by the College as warranted, the Dean of Student Success/Designee will schedule a hearing of the Student Conduct Discipline Committee. The Grounds for Appeal are listed elsewhere in this Code of Conduct and will be applied to determine if the student/organization’s appeal is warranted. If grounds for appeal do not exist or the student’s appeal is untimely, the Dean of Student Success/Designee may deny the student’s appeal. If the student’s appeal is denied, the student has the right to request the Dean of Student Success/Designee’s denial be appealed to the President of the student’s College. In the appeal of a denial, the President will review the request for a Student Conduct Discipline Committee submitted by the student to the Dean of Student Success/Designee and the Dean or Designee’s denial alone. If the President determines the request for a Student Conduct Discipline Committee was properly denied, the President’s determination is final and the sanction for the student shall stand. If the President determines that the Dean or Designee should have convened a Student Conduct Discipline Committee, the President shall instruct the Dean or Designee to convene the Student Conduct Discipline Committee as described here.  

At least 72 hours prior to the hearing date, the student/organization concerned should furnish the committee Chair with: 

  • The name and address of each witness the student wants to appear, and a description of all documentary and other evidence possessed by the College which the student wants produced. 
  • A summary of the proposed testimony of each witness. 
  • A request for a hearing separate from other accused students, if any, and the grounds for such request. 
  • The name and contact information for the student’s representative, if the student chooses to bring a representative, and whether or not that representative is an attorney. 

Failure to provide advanced notice can result in the committee’s refusal to allow witnesses to participate in the hearing or can be grounds for a delay in the proceeding. 

Discipline Committee members will be appointed by the College President and will include three faculty or staff members and two students. The Discipline Committee will elect a Chair from the three faculty or staff members. The committee Chair will preside over the hearing. All members of the committee are eligible to vote in the hearing and the majority vote will dictate the outcome of the proceedings. 

The Dean of Student Success/Designee will set the date, time, and place for the hearing and notify the student/organization of the same. The Dean of Student Success/Designee will also request the appearance of witnesses and require the production of documentary and other evidence from the student within a specified timeframe.  

The Dean of Student Success/Designee will represent the College before the Discipline Committee and present evidence to support any allegations of violations of Board Policies, Regulations, rules, or this Student Code of Conduct.  

The hearing is informal, and the Chair will provide reasonable opportunities for witnesses to be heard. The student is entitled to be represented by a representative, who may or may not be an attorney, at the student’s own expense, if he/she so chooses.   

 

16 STUDENT CONDUCT DISCIPLINARY HEARING NOTIFICATION 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

The Dean of Student Success/Designee will notify the student/organization concerned by phone and email or letter using the last known information in HCC files of the date, time, and place for the hearing. The Dean of Student Success/Designee will specify a hearing date not less than three or more than ten College business days after the date of the contact. The Dean of Student Success/Designee can, for good cause, postpone the hearing as long as all interested parties are notified of the new hearing date, time, and place.  

The Student Conduct Discipline Committee can hold a hearing at any time as long as the student has been provided notice of the new date, time, and place for the hearing. 

The Disciplinary hearing notice will consist of the following: 

  • Statement of the violation for which the student is accused. 
  • Notification for the student to appear before the committee on the date, time, and place specified. 
  • Notification of Student Rights & Responsibilities as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. 

 

17 STUDENT CONDUCT DISCIPLINARY HEARING COMMITTEE PROCEDURES 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

  • The Student Conduct Discipline Committee is designed to be informal, but will contain the following basic hearing procedures: 
  • The Dean of Student Success/Designee will read the violation for which the student/organization is accused. 
  • The Dean of Student Success/Designee will inform the student/organization of their rights. 
  • The Dean of Student Success/Designee will present the College’s case. 
  • The student/organization will present their case. 
  • The Dean of Student Success/Designee and the student/organization will present rebuttal evidence and arguments. 

The committee will meet alone to discuss the case and vote to decide whether or not there has been a violation of a rule or policy. 

If the committee finds the student/organization has violated a rule or policy, the committee will determine the appropriate outcome, as described below. 

 

18 STUDENT CONDUCT DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE HEARING OUTCOMES 

The Student Conduct Discipline Committee hearing outcomes are as follows: 

  • Uphold the decision and penalty imposed by the Dean of Student Success/Designee; and/or 
  • Impose a less severe penalty; and/or 
  • Find the student not responsible for any violations. 

The committee or the Dean of Student Success/Designee acting on behalf of the committee will state in writing the outcome of the hearing.  

In the event that a student is found to have violated a rule or policy, each violation will be stated with the corresponding penalty.  

Each committee member concurring in the finding and penalty will sign the statement.  

The committee will include in the statement its rationale for the finding and penalty. If warranted, the student/organization may appeal the decision of the Student Conduct Discipline Committee in a prescribed time period only if grounds for an appeal exist as described in this Code of Conduct. 

 

19 STUDENT RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES RELATED TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL) 

a. The accused student/organization shall have the right to be assisted during the Student Conduct Administrative Conference by a representative chosen by the student/ organization. The representative must only speak to the student/organization during the student conduct proceedings and shall not directly address the Dean of Student Success.  

b. The accused student/organization shall have the right to request copies of any supporting documentation collected by the College to support the reported policy violation or misconduct and offer supporting documentation on their own behalf. 

c. The accused student/organization shall have the right to know the names of witnesses who may have been interviewed and the summary of statements will be offered as supporting documentation of wrongdoing against the student/organization. 

d. The accused student/organization shall have the right to know the proposed sanction or range of disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed. 

e. The accused student/organization shall have the right to appeal the decision made disciplinary sanction imposed to the Student Conduct Discipline Committee should grounds for an appeal exist. 

f. The accused student/organization can request a separate hearing and grounds for such request in the event of multiple respondents. 

g. The accused student/organization shall have the right to request a final appeal to the College President. 

Students needing assistance with general questions or to better understand the conduct process should contact the Dean of Student Success/Designee. 

 

20 DISCIPLINE HEARING RULES OF EVIDENCE 

Legal rules of evidence do not apply to hearings before the Student Conduct Discipline Committee. All documentation and other evidence will be offered to the committee during the hearing and made a part of the hearing record. Documentary evidence can be admitted in the form of copies or extracts, in addition to incorporation by reference.   

However, the committee may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence.  

The committee will recognize as privileged, to the extent permitted by law, communications between a student and a member of the professional staff of the counseling center where such communications were made in the course of performance of official duties and when the matters discussed were understood by the staff member and the student to be confidential. Committee members can freely question witnesses.  

The committee will presume a student is innocent of the alleged violation until it is convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that the student violated a rule or policy.  

 

21 DISCIPLINARY RECORDS 

Board Policy: FLB (LOCAL); FJ (LEGAL)(LOCAL) 

A student/organization’s disciplinary record will include the following and will be maintained according to the applicable College document retention schedule: 

  • A copy of the notice required; and/or 
  • All documentary and other evidence offered or admitted as evidence in any disciplinary proceeding; and/or 
  • The disposition outcomes to include the Student Conduct Discipline Committee’s decision, and any records pertaining to appeals or appellate decisions. 

To the extent permitted by law and policy, all disciplinary records and proceedings will be kept separate from the student’s academic record and will be treated as confidential. Some disciplinary consequences legally require certain types of disclosure, including notation on a student’s transcript. Any student requesting a copy of their disciplinary record should provide a written request to the Dean of Students. Final disposition of the record will reside with the Office of Student Records. 

 

22 GROUNDS FOR APPEAL 

A student/organization may appeal a discipline decision on the following grounds:  

  1. The established student discipline procedures were not followed and, as a result, the findings or disciplinary sanctions imposed by the Dean of Student Success/Designee were not correct. 
  2. The severity of the disciplinary sanctions imposed were not appropriate based on the nature of the policy violation or misconduct. For conduct cases in which the accused student/organization has accepted responsibility, such appeals shall be limited to having the severity of the disciplinary sanctions reviewed. 
  3. There is new information that would have been pertinent to the outcome had the information been available to the Dean of Student Success/Designee before delivering a finding or imposing disciplinary sanctions. The student/organization must clearly describe the new information in the written request for an appeal and must include any available supporting documentation. Additionally, the student/organization must show that the new information and supporting documentation was not known at the time of the Student Conduct Administrative Conference or Student Conduct Discipline Committee hearing. 

 

23 APPEAL PROCEDURES/OUTCOMES TO THE COLLEGE PRESIDENT 

The College President will automatically review every sanction of expulsion. A student is entitled to appeal from the Student Conduct Discipline Committee to the College President or from the Dean/Designee denial of a referral to a Student Conduct Discipline Committee, if grounds for appeal are present. An appeal to the College President from the Student Conduct Discipline Committee is informal, but a student’s written appeal will contain the information required by Grounds for Appeal. A student should file the appeal to the College President on or before the third class day after the Student Conduct Discipline Committee announces its decision. The College President will receive written briefs and hear oral argument during their review, if a student chooses to file a written brief. 

The College President in his/her review may take any action that the Student Conduct Discipline Committee is authorized to take (see Student Conduct Discipline Committee Outcomes regarding appeal outcomes).  

The decision of the College President is final and no further appeals shall be granted. 

 

24 INTERIM DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES 

Board Policy: FLB(LOCAL) 

In certain circumstances, the Dean of Student Success/Designee shall have the authority to immediately impose interim disciplinary measures against a student/organization prior to the completion of the student conduct proceedings. Any interim disciplinary measures imposed may be enforced College-wide, at the discretion of the Dean of Student Success/Designee. The interim disciplinary measures include: 

  1. Temporary removal from a designated area, including, but not limited to a classroom, library, lab, campus, or College premises; or 
  2. An interim suspension: 

a. To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community or preservation of College property when an emergency exists; 

b. To ensure the physical or emotional safety and well-being of the student/organization; or 

c. If the student/organization poses an ongoing threat of disruption or interference with the normal operations of the College. 

The Dean of Student Success/Designee also has the right to suspend a student pending investigation. In the event the temporarily suspended student is found not to have violated the rule or policy, the student will be given the opportunity to resume classes and make up the work at no cost to the student. 

An interim suspension shall not replace the regular student discipline and penalties procedure and does not alter a student’s right to due process. Upon issuance of an interim suspension, an administrative conference shall be scheduled between five and fifteen College business days of the student/organization receiving notification from the College. 

 

25 DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS 

Board Policy: FLB(LOCAL) 

The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon any accused student/organization found to have violated College policy or engaged in misconduct. This list is not exhaustive. College Officials may impose sanctions individually or may impose multiple sanctions in conjunction.   

  1. Disciplinary Written Warning - A written notice given to a student/organization explaining that the student/organization has engaged in misconduct or violated College policy or institutional regulations. Repeated incidents of misconduct or violations of College policy or institutional regulations can result in more severe disciplinary action. 
  2. Restitution - Reimbursement for damage to, or misuse of, property. Reimbursement may take the form of appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damage. 
  3. Scholastic Penalties - The assignment of a failing grade on an assignment or examination or in a course by an instructor based on academic dishonesty, including cheating, collusion, plagiarism or scholastic dishonesty committed by a student. The instructor will submit a written report of the incident and of the planned action to the Dean of Student Success/Designee for maintenance of disciplinary records. The grade decision of the instructor is final, subject to the Grade Appeal processes, described in the Student Handbook 
  4. Disciplinary Probation - A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion, if the student/organization is found to have engaged in additional violations during the probationary period.  The Dean of Student Success/Designee may require a student to participate in activities that will enhance appropriate behavior(s) such as counseling, student conduct workshops, or alcohol and substance abuse workshops. Disciplinary Probation can be imposed for any length of time up to one calendar year, and the student will be automatically removed from disciplinary probation when the imposed period expires. 
  5. Disciplinary Hold - A disciplinary hold will be placed on the student’s account preventing any transactions until the student has completed or satisfied all imposed disciplinary sanctions (i.e. transcript requests, registration, etc.). This penalty is used in conjunction with other sanctions.   
  6. Disciplinary Suspension - Forced withdrawal from the College for either a definite period of time or until stated conditions have been met. Normally, suspension shall extend through a minimum of one regular long semester (with summer sessions not counting in the one-semester minimum time lapse). However, suspension may exceed the one-semester minimum. This may include suspension of rights or privileges, including eligibility of official co-curricular activities, with specific rights and/or privileges specified.  
  7. Disciplinary Expulsion - Permanent separation of the student/organization from the College. 
  8. Drug/Alcohol Counseling or Educational Programs - Counselors will assist students with short-term counseling or act as a referral source to community treatment providers when necessary, including but not limited to, AA, or NA meetings and other assigned educational programming. All student-counselor relationship communication will be confidential to the extent required by law.  
  9. Loss of Privileges - Denial of specified privileges permanently or for a designated period of time. Examples include, but are not limited to, limits to to student leadership positions, and/or extracurricular or sports participation.  
  10. Administrative Withdrawal - Removal from an academic or non-credit bearing course as a result of disruptive or insubordinate behavior.  
  11. Educational Disciplinary Sanctions - Work assignments, Behavior Contracts, essays, service to the College, or other related discretionary assignments. At their discretion, the Dean of Student Success/Designee, College President, or Student Conduct Administrator shall have the authority to require that a student/organization complete additional educational assignments, such as essays or research papers, attend meetings or training sessions, or perform services for the College.  
  12. Revocation of Admission and/or Degree/Certificate - The College shall have the authority to revoke a student’s admission or a degree or certificate for fraud, misrepresentation, violation of degree or certificate standards, or other serious violations of conduct.  
  13. Withholding Degree/Certificate - The College shall have the authority to withhold the awarding of a degree or certificate from a student who has otherwise earned the degree or certificate, until the student has completed or satisfied all imposed disciplinary sanctions. 
  14. No Trespass Order - A student/organization suspended or expelled from the College shall be issued a no-trespass order for the duration of the assigned sanction. Exceptions shall be made for suspensions as is necessary, as noted above at item 6.  
  15. No Communication/Contact Order - The College shall have the authority to prohibit a student/organization from engaging in personal contact and all forms of communication with other members of the College community. This sanction shall be imposed primarily when such contact has the potential to lead to harassment, threats, or other forms of unwanted interaction, or the College believes there is a reasonable likelihood of additional conduct violations by the student/organization. 
  16. Withhold Official Records - The College shall have the authority to block registration or withhold transcripts, grades, diplomas, or other official records if the action is reasonably necessary to preserve the College’s ability to enforce disciplinary rules, in a manner consistent with legal requirements.  

To the extent permitted by law, other than College expulsion or revocation/withholding of a degree/certificate, disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of the student’s/organization’s permanent academic record, but will become part of the student’s/organization’s disciplinary record.  

Disciplinary sanctions of suspension, expulsion, or revocation of a degree or certificate shall not be removed from the disciplinary record of a student/organization. 

 

26 ACADEMIC INTEGRITY/SCHOLASTIC DISHONESTY PROCEDURES AND SANCTIONS 

The following procedure may be initiated by instructors, Department Chairs, and/or Instructional Deans against a student accused of a violation of academic integrity.   

If an instructor or instructional leader suspects that a violation of academic integrity has occurred, the following procedure(s) apply: 

  1. Instructor/leader will collect the evidence and notify the student of the incident.  
  2. The student may meet with the instructor/leader to discuss the evidence.   
  3. The instructor/leader will notify the student of findings in writing via email.  
  4. Students who wish to contest findings that result in failure of the course may submit a request for review to the Chair (or Dean if the Chair is the instructor or if there is no Chair) within seven College business days.   
  5. The Chair (or instructional leader) will review evidence presented by both parties and make a determination within seven College business days.  
  6. Appeals of the Chair’s decision may only be made on procedural grounds and should be submitted within seven College business days to the appropriate Instructional Dean/next level supervisor. 
  7. The instructor/leader will document and submit all supporting documentation of violations of academic integrity into the electronic student conduct system (Maxient) to the Dean of Student Success/Designee. 
  8. The Dean of Student Success/Designee will review the case for any prior violations and note the incident as follows: 

a. First time violation - Record the incident and notify the student of the recorded incident through Maxient, student will receive a disciplinary written warning from the Dean of Student Success/Designee. 

b. Repeated violation - Send student a notice to appear to discuss the repeated violation; possible sanction(s) may include up to one semester suspension. 

c. Three or more violations or egregious violations - May result in permanent expulsion from the College. Any decision for expulsion may be appealed (see Grounds for Appeal). 

d. Violations involving dual credit students - Will be reported to the HCC P-16 Coordinator, who will report the incident to the student’s high school and record the incident in Maxient. 

Possible consequences for a violation of academic integrity may include  

A grade of “0” or “F” on the particular assignment/exam  

Failure in the course  

Referral to the Dean of Student Success for repeated/egregious violations 

Some HCC programs may view a first violation to be egregious and may result in removal from the program. These incidents will be recorded in Maxient. 

Individual assignment/exam grades are final.  

 

Academic Integrity violations are not the same as grade disputes, though a student’s grade may be changed as a result of an academic integrity violation. In cases of a grade dispute regarding alleged academic dishonesty, there is both a student conduct portion and a separate process related to the student’s grade, described under “Grade Appeals” here: https://www.hccs.edu/about-hcc/procedures/student-rights-policies–procedures/    

 

27 RECOGNIZED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS 

Board Policy: FLBC(LEGAL) 

Recognized student organizations, including athletics, intramural sports, and officers of recognized organizations must adhere to the same basic standard of conduct applied to individual students within the College. In order for a student group to be recognized by the College as an official student organization, the organization must follow appropriate College procedures. More information can be obtained by contacting the campus Student Life Coordinator or Student Success Dean/Associate Dean. A student group or organization and its individual officers may be held collectively and/or individually responsible when alleged violations occur either during an event sponsored by the organization or by an individual representing or associated with that organization or group, and are subject to all rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and disciplinary sanctions outlined in this Student Code of Conduct, OR as outlined below. A student leader found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct may be subject to review of any future leadership positions with the College by the Dean of Student Success & Engagement and may not be permitted to hold certain leadership positions or participate in student organizations. Organizations and their officers may be subject to disciplinary action for the following:  

  • Financial irresponsibility 
  • Criminal actions on the part of officers 
  • Criminal actions at an organization-sponsored event 
  • Use of illegal substances at an organizational event (with the knowledge of the officers or leadership) 
  • Destructive actions at an organizational event 
  • Failure to live up to contractual, policy, or procedural obligations of the organization 
  • Discrimination or harassment knowingly sanctioned or allowed by an organization or at an organizational event 
  • Disruption of College activities on or off campus 
  • Violation of College policy by the officers operating on behalf of the organization 
  • Abuse of the role of student organization in representing the College 
  • Misuse of College resources, including, but not limited to, College branded materials 
  • Hazing, and all acts associated with hazing, as set forth in Texas Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter F 
  • Initiations that include features that are dangerous, harmful, or degrading to a student 
  • Any violation covered in the Student Code Conduct 

 

28 SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY 

Board Policies: FL(LOCAL); FL(LEGAL); FL(REGULATION) 

The federal “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act,” enacted on October 28, 2000, went into effect on October 28, 2002. The law requires institutions of higher education to issue a statement advising the College community where law enforcement agency information provided by a state concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. It also requires sex offenders already required to register in a state to provide notice, as required under state law, of each institution of higher education in that state at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, volunteers services, or is a student.  

Ten days before enrolling in class, but never later than the seventh day after the date on which the person begins to attend school, a person required to register as a sex offender under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 62.152 or any other provision of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 62, who is a student at a public institution of higher education, including a College district, shall report that fact to the authority for campus security for the institution, the Houston Community College Police Department (HCCPD). Following registration with HCCPD, information regarding the registrant shall be forwarded to the Registered Sex Offender Review Committee for processing. The Sex Offender Review Committee will contact the registrant with any additional questions. Prior to the final decision of the committee, the registrant’s enrollment and course selection are subject to review and are not final. Registrants will be identified by risk level and processed accordingly. Registrants are encouraged to report as soon as possible in order to avoid delays in enrollment.  

Information regarding sexual offenders is available through the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registry and at www.hccs.edu/departments/police/crime-statistics–information/sex-offender-information. The procedures of the Registered Sex Offender Review Committee are described in FL(REGULATION) available at www.hccs.edu/about-hcc/policies/hcc-board-policy-manual-section-f

 

29 TITLE IX SEXUAL HARASSMENT PROCEDURES 

As described in Board policy, College District prohibits discrimination, including harassment, against any student on the basis of sex or gender. Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of College District policy and is prohibited. All definitions and more information concerning retaliation are included in FFDA (Legal) (Local) (REGULATION). Certain types of behavior constitute sexual harassment under Title IX, which has its own set of procedures described in law, regulation, and in related HCC Board Policies. That information can generally be found on the College’s Title IX webpage, at https://www.hccs.edu/departments/institutional-equity/title-ix-know-your-rights/ or by contacting the Office of Institutional Equity at 713-718-8271.  

Definitions: Definitions related to Title IX can be found on the Title IX webpage, above, and in Board Policy series FFDA (Legal)(Local) and (Regulation) at  
www.hccs.edu/about-hcc/policies/hcc-board-policy-manual-section-f/.  

Reporting: Information can be found on the Title IX webpage, above, concerning reporting procedures, including to whom students may make reports, by what methods, and the request that students report prohibited conduct as soon as possible after the alleged act or knowledge of the alleged act, so that the College may be fully able to investigate and address the prohibited conduct. Information can also be obtained for students who wish to report the conduct that has happened to them to law enforcement, as a victim of a crime.  

Mandatory Employee Reporting: Notably, any College District employee, not designated as a confidential employee, who suspects or receives notice that a student or group of students has or may have experienced prohibited conduct, regardless of when or where the incident occurred, is required to immediately report to the Title IX Coordinator and shall take any other steps required by this policy.  An employee’s failure to report prohibited conduct could result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, termination; however, an employee’s failure to report Title IX sexual harassment will not trigger Title IX protections for a complainant if a College District official does not have actual knowledge of the allegations.   

Title IX Procedures: Title IX reports require very specific types of procedures for assessment and investigation. These procedures and procedures for Informal Resolution, Formal Resolution, Supportive Measures, Interim Action, Grievance Procedures, Hearing and Determination Procedures, Evidentiary Standard, and Presumptions can all be found on the College District’s Title IX webpage at www.hccs.edu/departments/institutional-equity/title-ix-know-your-rights/.  

Amnesty for Students Reporting Certain Incidents: The College District may not take any disciplinary action against a student enrolled at the College who in good faith reports to the College being the victim of, or a witness to, an incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking for a violation by the student of the College’s Student Code of Conduct occurring at or near the time of the incident, regardless of the location at which the incident occurred or the outcome of the College’s disciplinary process regarding the incident, if any. The College District may investigate to determine whether a report of an incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking was made in good faith. Furthermore, a determination that a student is entitled to amnesty under the above circumstances is final and may not be revoked. Amnesty does not apply to a student who reports the student’s own commission or assistance in the commission of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. This section may not be construed to limit the College District’s ability to provide amnesty from application of the College District’s policies in circumstances not described above. 

 

30 INTERPRETATIONS AND REVISIONS 

Board Policy: FLB(LOCAL) 

Any question of interpretation or application of the Student Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Dean of Student Success/Designee for final determination. 

The Student Code of Conduct shall be reviewed at a minimum every biennial year under the direction of the Manager of Student Conduct & Academic Integrity, Dean of Student Success, Director of Counseling, General Counsel, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Success. 

 

31 OFFICE OF RESPONSIBILITY 

The Office of Responsibility for the Code of Conduct is the Student Services Division.