Chapter 132K-135 WAC – Student Conduct Code
WAC 132K-135-020 Authority.
The board, acting pursuant to RCW 28B.50.140(14), delegates to the chancellor of the college the authority to administer disciplinary action. The chancellor is authorized to delegate or reassign any and all duties and responsibilities as set forth in this chapter as may be reasonably necessary. Administration of the disciplinary procedures is the responsibility of the vice president of learning and student success or designee. The student conduct officer shall serve as the principal investigator and administrator for alleged violations of this code.
WAC 132K-135-030 Definitions.
The following definitions shall apply for the purposes of this student conduct code:
- "Assembly" means any overt activity engaged in by one or more persons, the object of which is to gain publicity, advocate a view, petition for a cause, or disseminate information to any person, persons, or group of persons.
- "Board" means the board of trustees of Community College District No. 11, state of Washington.
- "Calendar day" means days will be counted by excluding the first day and including the last day of timelines. When the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the last day will be the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than seven days, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays are not included in the count.
- "College" means Pierce College district and any other community college centers or facilities established within Washington State Community College District No. 11.
- "College community" means students, employees, trustees, and volunteers.
- "College facilities" and "college facility" mean and include any and all real and personal property owned, rented, leased, or operated by the board of Washington state Community College District No. 11, and shall include all buildings and appurtenances attached thereto and all parking lots and other grounds. College facilities extend to distance education classroom environments, and agencies or institutions that have educational agreement with the college.
- "College official" includes any person employed by the college performing assigned duties.
- "College premises" shall include all campuses of the college, wherever located, and includes all land, buildings, facilities, vehicles, equipment, and other property owned, used, or controlled by the college.
- "Complainant" is any person who submits a complaint alleging that a student violated the student conduct code, or in matters of sexual misconduct, a complainant is an alleged victim of sexual misconduct.
- "Conduct review officer" is the dean of student success or other college administrator designated by the chancellor to be responsible for receiving and for reviewing or referring appeals of student disciplinary actions in accordance with the procedures of this code.
- "Controlled substance" means and includes any drug or substance as defined in chapter 69.50 RCW as now law or hereafter amended.
- "Day" means a weekday, excluding weekends, college holidays, and college closures unless otherwise specified.
- "Disciplinary action" is the process by which the student conduct officer imposes discipline against a student for a violation of the student conduct code.
- "Disciplinary appeal" is the process by which an aggrieved student can appeal the discipline imposed by the student conduct officer. Disciplinary appeals from a suspension in excess of ten days or a dismissal are heard by the student conduct committee. Appeals of all other appealable disciplinary action shall be reviewed through brief adjudicative proceedings.
- "Faculty member" and "instructor" are any employee of Community College District No. 11 who is employed on a full-time or part-time basis as a teacher, instructor, counselor, faculty advisor, or librarian.
- "Filing" is the process by which a document is officially delivered to a college official responsible for facilitating a disciplinary review. Unless otherwise provided, filing shall be accomplished by:
- Hand delivery of the document to the specified college official or college official's assistant; or
- By sending the document by email and first class mail to the specified college email address and official's office address.
Paper required to be filed shall be deemed filed upon actual receipt during office hours at the office of the specified college official.
- "President" is the president of a college campus. The president is authorized to delegate any and all responsibilities as set forth in the chapter as may be reasonably necessary.
- "RCW" means Revised Code of Washington which can be accessed at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/.
- "Respondent" is the student against whom disciplinary action is initiated.
- "Service" is the process by which a document is officially delivered to a party. Unless otherwise provided, service upon a party shall be accomplished by:
- Hand delivery of the document to the party; or
- By sending the document by both email, and by either certified mail or first class mail to the party's last known address.
Service is deemed complete upon hand delivery of the document or upon the date the document is emailed and deposited in the mail.
- "Sexual misconduct" has the meaning ascribed to this term in WAC 132K-135-070(15).
- "Student" includes all persons taking courses at or through the college, whether on a full-time or part-time basis, and whether such courses are credit courses, noncredit courses, online courses, or otherwise. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the code, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term, but who have a continuing relationship with the college, or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered "students."
- "Student conduct officer" is a college administrator designated by the president or vice president of learning and student success to be responsible for implementing and enforcing the student conduct code.
- "Student organization" means any number of students who have met the college's formal requirements of clubs or organizations.
- "WAC" means Washington Administrative Code which can be accessed at http://app.leg.wa.gov/wac/.
- "Visitors" means guests, applicants, contractors, vendors, advisory board members, foundation board members, and members of the public on college premises.
WAC 132K-135-040 Statement of jurisdiction.
The student conduct code shall apply to student conduct that occurs on college premises, to conduct that occurs at or in connection with college-sponsored activities, or to off-campus conduct that in the judgment of the college adversely affects the college community and/or visitors or the pursuit of its objectives. Jurisdiction extends to, but is not limited to, locations in which students are engaged in official college activities including, but not limited to, foreign or domestic travel, activities funded by the associated students, athletic events, training internships, cooperative and distance education, online education, practicums, supervised work experiences, or any other college-sanctioned social or club activities. Students are responsible for their conduct from the time of notification of acceptance at the college through the actual receipt of a degree or certificate, 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. These standards shall apply to a student's conduct even if the student withdraws from college while a disciplinary matter is pending. The student conduct officer has sole discretion on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the student conduct code will be applied to conduct that occurs off-campus.
WAC 132K-135-050 Students abroad.
Students who participate in any college-sponsored or sanctioned international program shall observe the following:
- The laws of the host country;
- The academic and disciplinary regulations of the educational institution or residential housing program where the student is placed;
- Any other agreements related to the student's program in another country; and
- Pierce College's student conduct code.
WAC 132K-135-060 Statement of student rights.
As members of the academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in an independent search for truth. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility. The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the college community.
The following enumerated rights are guaranteed to each student within the limitations of statutory law and college policy which are deemed necessary to achieve the educational goals of the college:
- Academic freedom.
- Students are guaranteed the rights of free inquiry, expression, and assembly upon and within college facilities that are generally open and available to the public.
- Students are free to pursue appropriate educational objectives from among the college's curricula, programs, and services, subject to the limitations of RCW 28B.50.090 (3)(b).
- Students shall be protected from academic evaluation which is arbitrary, prejudiced, or capricious, but are responsible for meeting the standards of academic performance established by each of their instructors.
- Students have the right to a learning environment which is free from unlawful discrimination, inappropriate and disrespectful conduct, and any and all harassment, including sexual harassment.
- Due process.
- The rights of students to be secure in their persons, quarters, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures is guaranteed.
- No disciplinary sanction may be imposed on any student without notice to the accused of the nature of the charges.
- A student accused of violating this student conduct code is entitled, upon request, to procedural due process as set forth in this chapter.
PROHIBITED STUDENT CONDUCT
WAC 132K-135-070 Prohibited student conduct.
The college may impose disciplinary sanctions against a student who commits, attempts to commit, aids, abets, incites, encourages, or assists another person to commit, an act(s) of misconduct which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Academic dishonesty. Any act of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication.
- Cheating includes using or any attempt to use, give or obtain unauthorized assistance relating to the completion of an academic assignment.
- Plagiarism includes taking and using as one's own, without proper attribution, the ideas, writings, or work of another person in completing an academic assignment. Plagiarism may also include the unauthorized submission for credit of academic work that has been submitted for credit in another course.
- Fabrication includes falsifying data, information, or citations in completing an academic assignment and also includes providing false or deceptive information to an instructor concerning the completion of an assignment.
- No student shall be allowed to withdraw from a course or from the college to avoid the consequences of academic dishonesty.
- Other dishonesty. Any other acts of dishonesty, such acts include, but are not limited to:
- Forgery, alteration, submission of falsified documents, or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification;
- Tampering with an election conducted by or for college students; or
- Furnishing false information, or failing to furnish correct information, in response to the request or requirement of a college officer or employee.
- Obstruction or disruption. Obstruction or disruption of:
- Any instruction, research, administration, disciplinary proceeding, or other college activity, including the obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular movement on college property or at a college activity; or
- Any activity that is authorized to occur on college property, whether or not actually conducted or sponsored by the college.
- Assault, intimidation, harassment. Assault, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threat(s), intimidation, harassment, bullying, stalking, or other conduct, which harms, threatens, or is reasonably perceived as threatening the health or safety of another person or another person's property.
- Bullying is severe or pervasive physical or verbal (written or oral) abuse.
- Cyber misconduct. Cyberstalking, cyberbullying, or online harassment. Use of electronic communications including, but not limited to, email, instant messaging, online bulletin boards, and social media sites to harass, abuse, bully, or engage in other conduct which harms, threatens, or is reasonably perceived as threatening the health or safety of another person. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, unauthorized monitoring of another's email communications directly or through spyware, sending threatening emails, disrupting electronic communications with spam or by sending a computer virus, sending false messages to third parties using another's email identity, nonconsensual recording of sexual activity, and nonconsensual distribution of a recording of sexual activity.
- Property violation. Damage to, or theft or misuse of, real or personal property or money of:
- The college or state;
- Any student or college officer, employee, or organization;
- Any other member of the college community, visitors, or organization; or
- Possession of such property or money after it has been stolen.
- Failure to comply with directive. Failure to comply with the direction of a college officer or employee who is acting in the legitimate performance of duties, including failure to properly identify oneself to such a person when requested to do so.
- Weapons. Possession, holding, wearing, transporting, storage or presence of any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, explosive device, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm is prohibited on the college campus, subject to the following exceptions:
- Commissioned law enforcement personnel or legally authorized military personnel while in performance of their duties;
- A student with a valid concealed weapons permit may store a pistol in the student's vehicle parked on campus in accordance with RCW 9.41.050 (2) or (3), provided the vehicle is locked and the weapon is concealed from view; or
- The president or chancellor may grant permission to bring a weapon on campus upon a determination that the weapon is reasonably related to a legitimate pedagogical purpose. Such permission shall be in writing and shall be subject to such terms or conditions incorporated in the written permission.
- This policy does not apply to the possession and/or use of disabling chemical sprays when possessed and/or used for self-defense.
- Hazing. Hazing includes, but is not limited to, any initiation into a student organization or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental or emotional harm to any student.
- Alcohol, drug, and tobacco violations.
- Alcohol. The use, possession, delivery, sale, or being observably under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, except as permitted by law and applicable college policies.
- Marijuana. The use, possession, delivery, sale, or being observably under the influence of marijuana or the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana and intended for human consumption, regardless of form. While state law permits the recreational use of marijuana, federal law prohibits such use on college premises or in connection with college activities.
- Drugs. The use, possession, delivery, sale, or being observably under the influence of any legend drug, including anabolic steroids, androgens, or human growth hormones as defined in chapter 69.41 RCW, or any other controlled substance under chapter 69.50 RCW, except as prescribed for a student's use by a licensed practitioner.
- Tobacco. electronic cigarettes, and related products. The college community and visitors will abide by all Washington state laws and college policy as it relates to the use of tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and related products.
- Lewd conduct. Conduct which is lewd, obscene, or indecent.
- Disorderly conduct. Conduct which disrupts campus operations or the educational, social, or housing programs, or assisting or encouraging another person to engage in such conduct.
- Discriminatory conduct. Discriminatory conduct which harms or adversely affects any member of the college community and/or visitors because of race; color; national origin; sensory, mental or physical disability; use of a service animal; gender, including pregnancy; marital status; age; religion; creed; genetic information; sexual orientation; gender identity; veteran's status; or any other legally protected classification.
- Sexual misconduct. The term "sexual misconduct" includes sexual harassment, sexual intimidation, and sexual violence.
- Sexual harassment. The term "sexual harassment" means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently serious as to deny or limit, and that does deny or limit, based on sex, the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college's educational, social, or housing programs or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for other college community members and/or visitors.
- Sexual intimidation. The term "sexual intimidation" means threatening or emotionally distressing conduct based on sex including, but not limited to, nonconsensual recording of sexual activity or the distribution of such recording.
- Sexual violence. "Sexual violence" is a type of sexual discrimination and sexual harassment. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, nonconsensual sexual contact, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking are all types of sexual violence.
- Nonconsensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
- Nonconsensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
- Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
- Intimate partner violence is violence by a person who is or has been in a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship with the victim.
- Stalking is intentional and repeated harassment or following of another person, which places that person in reasonable fear that the perpetrator intends to injure, intimidate, or harass that person. Stalking also includes instances where the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the person is frightened, intimidated, or harassed, even if the perpetrator lacks such intent.
- Consent. Knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Each party has the responsibility to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or action indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
A person may be incapable of giving consent by reason of age, threat or intimidation, lack of opportunity to object, disability, drug or alcohol consumption, or other cause. A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or are disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual has engaged in nonconsensual sexual activity.An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in nonconsensual sexual activity.
- Harassment. Unwelcome and offensive conduct including verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, that is directed at a person because of such person's protected status and that is sufficiently serious as to deny or limit, and that does deny or limit, the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college's educational, social, or housing programs or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for other college community members and/or visitors. Harassing conduct may include, but is not limited to, physical, verbal, written, social media, and electronic communications.
Protected status includes a person's race; color; national origin; sensory, mental or physical disability; use of a service animal; gender, including pregnancy; marital status; age; religion; creed; genetic information; sexual orientation; gender identity; veteran's status; or any other legally protected classification. See "sexual misconduct" for the definition of "sexual harassment."
- Retaliation. Any intentional, adverse action taken by an accused individual or allied third party, absent legitimate nondiscriminatory purposes, as reprisal against any individual for reporting, providing information, exercising one's rights or responsibilities, or otherwise being involved in the process of responding to, investigating, or addressing allegations or violations of federal, state or local law, or college policies including, but not limited to, student conduct code provisions prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Retaliatory actions include, but are not limited to, threats or actual violence against the person or their property, adverse educational or employment consequences, ridicule, intimidation, bullying, or ostracism.
- Theft or misuse of electronic resources. Theft or other misuse of computer time or other electronic information resources of the college. Such misuse includes, but is not limited to:
- Unauthorized use of such resources or opening of a file, message, or other item;
- Unauthorized duplication, transfer, or distribution of a computer program, file, message, or other item;
- Unauthorized use or distribution of someone else's password or other identification;
- Use of such time or resources to interfere with someone else's work;
- Use of such time or resources to send, display, or print an obscene or abusive message, text, or image;
- Use of such time or resources to interfere with normal operation of the college's computing system or other electronic information resources;
- Use of such time or resources in violation of applicable copyright or other law;
- Adding to or otherwise altering the infrastructure of the college's electronic information resources without authorization; or
- Failure to comply with the student computing resources policy.
- Unauthorized access. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or other use of a key, keycard, or other restricted means of access to college property, or unauthorized entry onto or into college property.
- Safety violations. Safety violations include any nonaccidental conduct that interferes with or otherwise compromises any college policy, equipment, or procedure relating to the safety and security of the college community and/or visitors, including tampering with fire safety equipment and triggering false alarms or other emergency response systems.
- Violation of other laws or policies. Violation of any federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation, or other college rules or policies, including college traffic and parking rules.
- Ethical violation. The breach of any generally recognized and published code of ethics or standards of professional practice that governs the conduct of a particular profession for which the student is taking a course or is pursuing as an educational goal or major.
In addition to initiating discipline proceedings for violation of the student conduct code, the college may refer any violations of federal, state, or local laws to civil and criminal authorities for disposition. The college shall proceed with student disciplinary proceedings regardless of whether the underlying conduct is subject to civil or criminal prosecution.
WAC 132K-135-090 Disciplinary sanctions—Terms—Conditions
The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon students found to have violated the student conduct code. Depending upon the misconduct, more than one sanction may be imposed. Other than college dismissal or revocation or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions are not made part of the student's academic record, but are part of the student's disciplinary record. Violation of any term or condition of any disciplinary sanction constitutes a new violation and may subject the student to additional sanctions.
- Disciplinary warning. A verbal statement to a student that there is a violation and that continued violations may be cause for further disciplinary action.
- Written reprimand. Notice in writing that the student has violated one or more terms of this code of conduct and that continuation of the same or similar behavior may result in more severe disciplinary action.
- Disciplinary probation. Formal action placing specific conditions and restrictions upon the student's continued attendance depending upon the seriousness of the violation and which may include a deferred disciplinary sanction. If the student subject to a deferred disciplinary sanction is found in violation of any college rule during the time of disciplinary probation, the deferred disciplinary sanction, which may include, but is not limited to, a suspension or a dismissal from the college, shall take effect immediately without further review. Any such sanction shall be in addition to any sanction or conditions arising from the new violation. Probation may be for a limited period of time or may be for the duration of the student's attendance at the college.
- Disciplinary suspension. Dismissal from the college and from the student status for a stated period of time. There will be no refund of tuition or fees for the quarter in which the action is taken
- Dismissal. The revocation of all rights and privileges of membership in the college community and exclusion from all college campuses and college-owned or controlled facilities without any possibility of return. There will be no refund of tuition or fees for the quarter in which the action is taken.
Disciplinary terms and conditions that may be imposed in conjunction with the imposition of a disciplinary sanction include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Educational sanction. The college may require the student to complete an educational activity or experience directly related to the violation committed, at the student's expense.
- Professional evaluation. Referral for drug, alcohol, psychological, or medical evaluation by an appropriately certified or licensed professional may be required. The student may choose the professional within the scope of practice and with the professional credentials as defined by the college. The student will sign all necessary releases to allow the college access to any such evaluation. The student's return to college may be conditioned upon compliance with recommendations set forth in such a professional evaluation. If the evaluation indicates that the student is not capable of functioning within the college community, the student will remain suspended until future evaluation recommends that the student is capable of reentering the college and complying with the rules of conduct.
- Not in good standing. A student may be deemed "not in good standing" with the college. If so, the student shall be subject to the following restrictions:
- Ineligible to hold an office in any student organization recognized by the college or to hold any elected or appointed office of the college.
- Ineligible to represent the college to anyone outside the college community in any way, including representing the college at any official function, or any forms of intercollegiate competition or representation.
- Restitution or monetary fine. Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property, or for injury to persons, or for reasonable costs incurred by the college in pursuing an investigation or disciplinary proceeding. This may take the form of monetary reimbursement, appropriate service, monetary fine, or other compensation.
- Hold on transcript or registration. This is a temporary measure restricting release of a student's transcript or access to registration. Upon satisfactory completion of the conditions of the sanction, the hold will be released.
- Revocation of admission or degree. Admission to or a degree awarded from the college may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of standards of conduct for students in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
- Withholding degree. The college may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this chapter, including the completion of all sanctions imposed.
- No trespass order. A student may be restricted from college property based on misconduct.
- No contact order. An order directing a student to have no contact with a specified member of the college community, visitor, or a particular college facility.
WAC 132K-135-100 Initiation of disciplinary action.
- All disciplinary actions will be initiated by the student conduct officer. If that officer is the subject of a complaint initiated by the respondent, the president shall, upon request and when feasible, designate another person to fulfill any such disciplinary responsibilities relative to the complaint.
- The student conduct officer shall initiate disciplinary action by serving the respondent with written notice directing the student to attend a disciplinary meeting. The notice shall briefly describe the factual allegations, the provision(s) of the student conduct code the respondent is alleged to have violated, the range of possible sanctions for the alleged violation(s), and specify the time and location of the meeting. At the meeting, the student conduct officer will present the allegations to the respondent and the respondent shall be afforded an opportunity to explain what took place. If the respondent fails to attend the meeting, after proper service of notice, the student conduct officer may take disciplinary action based upon the available information.
- The student conduct officer, prior to taking disciplinary action in a case involving sexual misconduct, will make a reasonable effort to contact the complainant to discuss the results of the investigation and possible disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions, if any, that may be imposed upon the respondent if the allegations of sexual misconduct are found to have merit.
- Within ten days of the initial disciplinary meeting and after considering the evidence in the case, including any facts or argument presented by the respondent, the student conduct officer shall serve the respondent with a written decision setting forth the facts and conclusions supporting the decision, the specific student conduct code provisions found to have been violated, the discipline imposed, if any, and a notice of any appeal rights with an explanation of the consequences of failing to file a timely appeal.
- The student conduct officer may take any of the following disciplinary actions:
- Exonerate the respondent and terminate the proceedings.
- Impose a disciplinary sanction(s) as described in WAC 132K-135-090.
- Refer the matter directly to the student conduct committee for such disciplinary action as the committee deems appropriate. Such referral shall be in writing, to the attention of the chair of the student conduct committee, with a copy served on the respondent.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the student conduct officer, on the same date that a disciplinary decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including disciplinary suspension or dismissal of the respondent. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights. If protective sanctions and/or conditions are imposed, the student conduct officer shall make a reasonable effort to contact the complainant and ensure prompt notice of the protective disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions.
WAC 132K-135-110 Appeal from disciplinary action.
- The respondent may appeal a disciplinary action by filing a written notice of appeal with the conduct review officer within ten days of service of the student conduct officer's decision. Failure to timely file a notice of appeal constitutes a waiver of the right to appeal and the student conduct officer's decision shall be deemed final.
- The notice of appeal must include a brief statement explaining why the respondent is seeking review.
- The parties to an appeal shall be the respondent and the conduct review officer.
- A respondent, who timely appeals a disciplinary action or whose case is referred to the student conduct committee, has a right to a prompt, fair, and impartial hearing as provided for in these procedures.
- On appeal, the college bears the burden of establishing the evidentiary facts underlying the imposition of a disciplinary sanction by a preponderance of the evidence.
- Imposition of disciplinary action for violation of the student conduct code shall be stayed pending appeal, unless respondent has been summarily suspended.
- The student conduct committee shall hear appeals from:
- The imposition of disciplinary suspensions in excess of ten days;
- Dismissals; and
- Discipline cases referred to the committee by the student conduct officer, the conduct review officer, or the president.
- Student conduct appeals from the imposition of the following disciplinary sanctions shall be reviewed through a brief adjudicative proceeding:
- Suspensions of ten days or less;
- Disciplinary probation;
- Written reprimands; and
- Any conditions or terms imposed in conjunction with one of the foregoing disciplinary actions.
- Except as provided elsewhere in these rules, disciplinary warnings and dismissals of disciplinary actions are final action and are not subject to appeal.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the complainant has the right to appeal the following actions by the student conduct officer following the same procedures as set forth above for the respondent:
- The dismissal of a sexual misconduct complaint; or
- Any disciplinary sanction(s) and conditions imposed against a respondent for a sexual misconduct violation, including a disciplinary warning.
- If the respondent timely appeals a decision imposing discipline for a sexual misconduct violation, the college shall notify the complainant of the appeal and provide the complainant an opportunity to intervene as a party to the appeal.
- Except as otherwise specified in this chapter, a complainant who timely appeals a disciplinary decision or who intervenes as a party to a respondent's appeal of a disciplinary decision shall be afforded the same procedural rights as are afforded the respondent.
BRIEF ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS – INITIAL HEARING
WAC 132K-135-120 Brief adjudicative proceedings—Initial hearing.
- Brief adjudicative proceedings shall be conducted by a conduct review officer. The conduct review officer shall not participate in any case in which involved as a complainant or witness, or in which there is direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias, or in which previous actions have been taken in an advisory capacity.
- The parties to a brief adjudicative proceeding are the respondent, the student conduct officer, and the complainant in cases involving sexual misconduct. Before taking action, the conduct review officer shall conduct an informal hearing and provide each party:
- An opportunity to be informed of the college's view of the matter; and
- An opportunity to explain the party's view of the matter.
- The conduct review officer shall serve an initial decision upon both the respondent and the student conduct officer within ten days of the completion of the informal hearing. The initial decision shall contain a brief written statement of the reasons for the decision and information about how to seek administrative review of the initial decision. If no request for review is filed within ten days of service of the initial decision, the initial decision shall be deemed the final decision.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the conduct review officer, on the same date as the initial decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice upon the complainant informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights.
- If the conduct review officer, upon review, determines that the respondent's conduct may warrant imposition of a disciplinary suspension of more than ten days or dismissal, the matter shall be referred to the student conduct committee for a disciplinary hearing.
BRIEF ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS – REVIEW
WAC 132K-135-130 Brief adjudicative proceedings—Review of an initial decision.
- An initial decision is subject to review by the president, provided a party files a written request for review with the conduct review officer within ten days of service of the initial decision.
- The president shall not participate in any case in which involved as a complainant or witness, or in which there is direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias, or in which previous actions have been taken in an advisory capacity.
- During the review, the president shall give each party an opportunity to file written responses explaining their view of the matter and shall make any inquiries necessary to ascertain whether the sanctions should be modified or whether the proceedings should be referred to the student conduct committee for a formal adjudicative hearing.
- The decision on review must be in writing and must include a brief statement of the reason for the decision and must be served on the parties within twenty calendar days of the initial decision or of the request for review, whichever is later. The decision on review will contain a notice that judicial review may be available. A request for review may be deemed to have been denied if the president does not make a disposition of the matter within twenty calendar days after the request is submitted.
- If the president, upon review, determines that the respondent's conduct may warrant imposition of a disciplinary suspension of more than ten days or dismissal, the matter shall be referred to the student conduct committee for a disciplinary hearing.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the president, on the same date as the final decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice upon the complainant informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including suspension or dismissal of the respondent. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE
WAC 132K-135-140 Student conduct committee.
- The student conduct committee shall consist of five members appointed by the chancellor:
- Two full-time classified staff members;
- Two faculty members;
- One administrator (other than an administrator serving as a student conduct officer or conduct review officer).
- The administrator shall serve as the chair of the committee and may take action on preliminary hearing matters prior to convening the committee. The chair shall receive annual training on protecting victims and promoting accountability in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct.
- Hearings may be heard by a hearing panel consisting of a quorum of three members of the committee, so long as one member is the chair. Committee action may be taken upon a majority vote of all committee members presiding over the hearing.
- Members of the student conduct committee shall not participate in any case in which they are a party, complainant, or witness, in which they have direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias, or in which they have acted previously in an advisory capacity. Any party may petition for disqualification of a committee member.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE – APPEAL
WAC 132K-135-150 Appeal—Student conduct committee.
- Proceedings of the student conduct committee shall be governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW.
- The student conduct committee chair shall serve all parties with written notice of the hearing not less than seven calendar days in advance of the hearing date. The chair may shorten this notice period if both parties agree, and also may continue the hearing to a later time for good cause shown.
- The committee chair is authorized to conduct prehearing conferences and/or to make prehearing decisions concerning the extent and form of any discovery, issuance of protective decisions, and similar procedural matters.
- Upon request, filed at least five days before the hearing by any party or at the direction of the committee chair, the parties shall exchange, no later than the third day prior to the hearing, lists of potential witnesses and copies of potential exhibits that they reasonably expect to present to the committee. Failure to participate in good faith in such a requested exchange may be cause for exclusion from the hearing of any witness or exhibit not disclosed, absent a showing of good cause for such failure.
- The committee chair may provide to the committee members in advance of the hearing copies of (a) the conduct officer's notification of the imposition of discipline, or referral to the committee, and (b) the notice of appeal, or any response to referral, by the respondent. If doing so, however, the chair should remind the members that these "pleadings" are not evidence of any facts they may allege.
- The parties may agree before the hearing to designate specific exhibits as admissible without objection and, if they do so, whether the committee chair may provide copies of these admissible exhibits to the committee members before the hearing.
- The student conduct officer, upon request, shall provide reasonable assistance to the respondent in obtaining relevant and admissible evidence that is within the college's control.
- Communications between committee members and other hearing participants regarding any issue in the proceeding, other than procedural communications that are necessary to maintain an orderly process, are generally prohibited without notice and opportunity for all parties to participate, and any improper "ex parte" communication shall be placed on the record, as further provided in RCW 34.05.455.
- Each party may be accompanied at the hearing by a nonattorney assistant of the party's choice. A respondent, or complainant in a case involving allegations of sexual misconduct, may elect to be represented by an attorney at their own cost, but will be deemed to have waived that right unless, at least four days before the hearing, written notice of the attorney's identity and participation is filed with the committee chair with a copy to the student conduct officer. The committee will ordinarily be advised by an assistant attorney general. If the respondent or the complainant is represented by an attorney, the student conduct officer may also be represented by a second, appropriately screened assistant attorney general.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE – PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE
WAC 132K-135-160 Student conduct committee hearings—Presentations of evidence.
- Upon the failure of any party to attend or participate in a hearing, the student conduct committee may either:
- Proceed with the hearing and issuance of its decision; or
- Serve a decision of default in accordance with RCW 34.05.440.
- The hearing will ordinarily be closed to the public. However, if all parties agree on the record that some or all of the proceedings be open, the chair shall determine any extent to which the hearing will be open. If any person disrupts the proceedings, the chair may exclude that person from the hearing room.
- The chair shall cause the hearing to be recorded by a method the chair selects, in accordance with RCW 34.05.449. That recording, or a copy, shall be made available to any party upon request. The chair shall assure maintenance of the record of the proceeding that is required by RCW 34.05.476, which shall also be available upon request for inspection and copying by any party. Other recording shall also be permitted, in accordance with WAC 10-08-190.
- The chair shall preside at the hearing and decide procedural questions that arise during the hearing, except as overridden by majority vote of the committee.
- The student conduct officer, unless represented by an assistant attorney general, shall present the case for imposing disciplinary sanctions.
- All testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. Evidence shall be admitted or excluded in accordance with RCW 34.05.452.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, neither party shall directly question or cross examine one another. Attorneys for the parties are also prohibited from questioning the opposing party absent express permission from the committee chair. Subject to this exception, all cross examination questions shall be directed to the committee chair, who in their discretion shall pose the questions on the party's behalf.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE – INTIAL DECISION
WAC 132K-135-170 Student conduct committee—Initial decision.
- At the conclusion of the hearing, the student conduct committee shall permit the parties to make closing arguments in whatever form it wishes to receive them. The committee also may permit each party to propose findings, conclusions, and/or a proposed decision for its consideration.
- Within thirty calendar days following the later of the conclusion of the hearing, or the committee's receipt of closing arguments, the committee shall issue an initial decision in accordance with RCW 34.05.461 and WAC 10-08-210. The initial decision shall include findings on all material issues of fact and conclusions on all material issues of law, including which, if any, provisions of the student conduct code were violated. Any findings based substantially on the credibility of evidence or the demeanor of witnesses shall be so identified.
- The committee's initial decision shall also include a determination on appropriate discipline, if any. If the matter was referred to the committee by the student conduct officer, the committee shall identify and impose disciplinary sanction(s) or condition(s), if any, as authorized in the student conduct code. If the matter is an appeal by the respondent, the committee may affirm, reverse, or modify the disciplinary sanction(s) and/or condition(s) imposed by the student conduct officer and/or impose additional disciplinary sanction(s) or condition(s) as authorized herein.
- The committee's initial decision shall also include a statement of the available procedures and time frames for seeking reconsideration or appeal.
- The committee chair shall cause copies of the initial decision to be served on the parties and their legal counsel of record. The committee chair shall also promptly transmit a copy of the decision and the record of the committee's proceedings to the president.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the chair of the student conduct committee, on the same date as the initial decision is served on the respondent, will serve a written notice upon the complainant informing the complainant whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including suspension or dismissal of the respondent. Complainant may appeal the student conduct committee's initial decision to the president subject to the same procedures and deadlines applicable to other parties. The notice will also inform the complainant of their appeal rights.
STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE – APPEAL INITIAL DECISION
WAC 132K-135-180 Appeal from student conduct committee initial decision.
- A respondent who is aggrieved by the findings or conclusions issued by the student conduct committee may appeal the committee's initial decision to the president by filing a written notice of appeal with the president's office within ten days of service of the committee's initial decision. Failure to file a timely appeal constitutes a waiver of the right and the initial decision shall be deemed final.
- The written notice of appeal must identify the specific findings of fact and/or conclusions of law in the initial decision that are challenged and must contain argument why the appeal should be granted. The president's review shall be restricted to the hearing record made before the student conduct committee and will normally be limited to a review of those issues and arguments raised in the notice of appeal. If necessary to aid review, the president may ask for additional briefing from the parties on issues raised on appeal.
- The president shall provide a written decision to the respondent and the student conduct officer within thirty calendar days after receipt of the notice of appeal. The president's decision shall be final and shall include a notice of any rights to request reconsideration and/or judicial review.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the president, on the same date that the final decision is served upon the respondent, shall serve a written notice informing the complainant of the final decision. This notice shall inform the complainant whether the sexual misconduct allegation was found to have merit and describe any disciplinary sanctions and/or conditions imposed upon the respondent for the complainant's protection, including suspension or dismissal of the respondent.
- The president has discretion to suspend any disciplinary action pending review of the merits of the findings, conclusions, and disciplinary actions imposed.
- Per RCW 34.05.455 the president shall not engage in any improper "ex parte" communication with any of the parties regarding an appeal.
WAC 132K-135-190 Summary suspension.
- Summary suspension is a temporary exclusion from specified college premises or denial of access to all activities or privileges for which a respondent might otherwise be eligible while an investigation and/or formal disciplinary procedure is pending.
- The student conduct officer may impose a summary suspension if there is probable cause to believe that the respondent:
- Has violated any provision of the student conduct code; and
- Presents an immediate danger to the health, safety, or welfare of members of the college community or visitors; or
- Poses an ongoing threat of substantial disruption of, or interference with, the operations of the college.
- Notice. Any respondent who has been summarily suspended shall be served with oral or written notice of the summary suspension. If oral notice is given, a written notification shall be served on the respondent within two days of the oral notice.
- The written notification shall be entitled "Notice of Summary Suspension" and shall include:
- The reasons for imposing the summary suspension, including a description of the conduct giving rise to the summary suspension and reference to the provisions of the student conduct code or the law allegedly violated;
- The date, time, and location when the respondent must appear before the conduct review officer for a hearing on the summary suspension; and
- The conditions, if any, under which the respondent may physically access the college premises or communicate with members of the college community and visitors. If the respondent has been trespassed from the college premises, a notice against trespass shall be included that warns the respondent that privilege to enter into or remain on college premises has been withdrawn and that the respondent shall be considered trespassing and subject to arrest for criminal trespass if the respondent enters the college premises other than for a scheduled meeting with the student conduct officer or conduct review officer, or to attend a disciplinary hearing.
- The conduct review officer shall conduct a hearing on the summary suspension as soon as practicable after imposition of the summary suspension.
- During the summary suspension hearing, the issue before the conduct review officer is whether there is probable cause to believe that summary suspension should be continued pending the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings and/or whether the summary suspension should be less restrictive in scope.
- The respondent shall be afforded an opportunity to explain why summary suspension should not be continued while disciplinary proceedings are pending or why the summary suspension should be less restrictive in scope.
- If the respondent fails to appear at the designated hearing time, the conduct review officer may order that the summary suspension remain in place pending the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings.
- As soon as practicable following the hearing, the conduct review officer shall issue a written decision which shall include a brief explanation for any decision continuing and/or modifying the summary suspension and notice of any right to appeal.
- To the extent permissible under applicable law, the conduct review officer shall provide a copy of the decision to all persons or offices who may be bound or protected by it.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the complainant shall be notified that a summary suspension has been imposed on the same day that the summary suspension notice is served on the respondent. The college will also provide the complainant with timely notice of any subsequent changes to the summary suspension order.
WAC 132K-135-200 Classroom misconduct and authority to suspend for no more than one day.
- Faculty members have the authority to take appropriate action to maintain order and proper conduct in their classroom and to maintain the effective cooperation of students in fulfilling the objectives of the course.
- Bringing any person, thing, or object to a teaching and learning environment that may disrupt the environment or cause a safety or health hazard, without the express approval of the faculty member is prohibited.
- Faculty members have the right to temporarily suspend any student(s) from a single class or related activity for the remainder of that day if the student's misconduct creates disruption to the point that it is difficult or impossible to maintain the decorum of the class, related activity, or the learning and teaching environment. The faculty member shall report this temporary suspension to the student conduct officer or designee on the same day. In consultation with the faculty member, the student conduct officer may set conditions for the student upon return to the class or activity.
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT PROCEEDINGS
WAC 132K-135-210 Sexual misconduct proceedings.
Both the respondent and the complainant in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct shall be provided the same procedural rights to participate in student discipline matters, including the right to participate in the initial disciplinary decision-making process and to appeal any disciplinary decision.
BRIEF ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS – COLLEGE RECORD
WAC 132K-135-250 Brief adjudicative proceedings—College record.
The college record for brief adjudicative proceedings shall consist of any documents regarding the matter that were considered or prepared by the presiding officer for the brief adjudicative proceeding or by the reviewing officer for any review consistent with RCW 34.05.476. These records shall be maintained as the official record of the proceedings.