Code of Conduct (Policy SW-18)


Members of the Clarkson College community include administration, faculty, staff and students. Clarkson College students are not only members of the College community, but they are also citizens of the larger society. As citizens, they retain those rights, protections and guarantees of fair treatment which are held by all citizens. In addition, Clarkson College students are subject to the reasonable and basic standards of the College regarding discipline and maintenance of an educational environment.

The purpose of the Clarkson College Student Code of Conduct is to foster a sense of accountability, trust, responsibility and professionalism among students, faculty and administration. Clarkson College’s mission includes the expectation of high standards in ethical and professional behavior, as well as in scholarship. The Code of Conduct is designed to assist in the personal and intellectual development of students as they work toward becoming health care professionals, as well as behavior expectations, which are outlined in departmental student handbooks.

The Student Code of Conduct is designed to provide students with guidance, correction and an opportunity to demonstrate growth in judgment and self-control. The College offers a variety of resources for students who desire personal or professional guidance through the Success Center.

The College goals for its disciplinary policy, as set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, are:

  • to promote ethical behavior
  • to ensure the integrity of the academic enterprise
  • to develop a sense of responsibility to maintain the honor of the health care profession
  • to provide an atmosphere of safety and well-being

It is important to note that one’s behavior as a student may have a long-term effect on one’s career in addition to having Code of Conduct consequences at Clarkson College. A violation of certain laws may jeopardize a student’s ability to obtain professional licensure. Therefore, students should consider their career goals as well as the Clarkson College Code of Conduct before making behavioral choices.

Student Code of Conduct

Students are required to engage in responsible social conduct and to model good citizenship as members of the community. Clarkson College expects the following of students:

  • demonstrate honorable and responsible behaviors
  • demonstrate a keen sense of ethical conduct
  • behave respectfully
  • be considerate of other people and property
  • be trustworthy
  • demonstrate honest character upon which others may rely with confidence
  • communicate professionally (both verbally and in written form)

Student Code of Conduct Violations

Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to disciplinary action, possible sanctions and remediation.

  1. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following: a. furnishing false information to any College official b. forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College document, record, blank letterhead or instrument of identification
  2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other College activities, including its public service functions on or off campus or other authorized non-College activities, when the act occurs on College premises.
  3. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, bullying, harassment, coercion and/or other conduct, which threatens or endangers the health and/or safety of any person or the learning environment (the violation can be in person or by the use of electronic media).
  4. Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the College or property of a member of the College community or other personal or public property.
  5. Hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization. 
  6. Failure to comply with directions of College officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
  7. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys to any College premises or unauthorized entry to or use of College premises.
  8. Discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age, national origin, ethnicity, gender, gender stereotyping, veteran’s status or marital status.
  9. Violation of published College policies, rules and/or regulations.
  10. Violation of federal, state or local law on College premises, at College sponsored or supervised activities or while representing the College off campus.
  11. Use, possession or distribution of illicit substances as outlined in Clarkson College Drug and Alcohol Policy.
  12. Public intoxication and/or the use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by law and by the Clarkson College Drug and Alcohol Policy.
  13. Possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, illegal or hazardous materials “(any item or agent (biological, chemical, radiological, and/or physical), which has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment, either by itself or through interaction with other factors.” i
  14. Participation in a campus demonstration which disrupts the normal operations of the College and infringes on the rights of other members of the College community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area; intentional obstruction, which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus.
  15. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on College premises or at College sponsored or supervised functions.
  16. Conduct which is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace; this includes downloading or disseminating inappropriate images and messages via electronic media, on College premises or at functions sponsored or participated in by the College.
  17. Theft or other abuse of computer time, including but not limited to: a. unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read or change the contents or for any other purpose b. unauthorized transfer of a file c. unauthorized use of another individual’s identification or password d. use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or College official. e. use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the College computing system f. use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages g. any other violation of the Clarkson College computer use policy


Violation of Law and/or Student Code of Conduct

  1. If a student is charged with a felony that is in violation of federal, state or local law, but not with any other violation of this Code, disciplinary action may be taken and temporary sanctions imposed until a court decision is determined for grave misconduct which demonstrates flagrant disregard for the College community. The College has the authority to place a student on interim suspension pending the Code of Conduct violation process or a court decision is determined. Interim suspension can be imposed according to the determination of the College when any of the following situations exist:
    • The conduct of a student reflects a disregard for the principles of social responsibility and self-discipline, and the continued presence of a student and/or student group would disrupt the stability and continuance of the educational mission and processes of the College.
    • The conduct of the student endangers the wellbeing of other members of the Clarkson College community or would prevent other members of the community from having a safe living and learning environment, when such situations cannot be eliminated by reasonable modifications.
      • Such situations are detrimental to students and to the best interest of the College; therefore, the College reserves this right to impose interim suspension. Such determinations will be made after analyzing all available, relevant information (the student’s observed conduct, actions and statements) about the student in question, including any relevant and readily available information from treating medical or mental health professionals, or other professionals qualified to interpret this information, and after consulting the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). This policy will be applied in a non-discriminatory manner, and determinations shall be based on conduct, actions and statements. If a student is placed on interim suspension, the student may be temporarily separated from the College; therefore, at the discretion of the College, the student may be required to leave residential housing and/or College property, as well as cease attending classes or other College activities within the time specified in the notice of interim suspension. The student may also be required to receive mandated medical assessments or treatments for an interim period.
  2. Any type of sexual misconduct/violence charges will be handled using the Sexual Misconduct, SW-27 policy. For more information please contact the Title IX Coordinator.
  3. College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a law, which is also a violation of this Code, for example if both violations result from the same factual situation without regard to the pendency of civil action in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus.
  4. When a student is charged by federal, state or local authorities with a violation of law, the College will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also the subject of a proceeding of the Student Code of Conduct policy, however, the College may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Student Code and of how such matters will be handled internally within the College community. The College will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for rehabilitation of student violators. Individual students and faculty members, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives, as they deem appropriate.


Procedure:

Student Code of Conduct Procedure

Unacceptable behaviors will not be tolerated, and students suspected of such conduct are subject to disciplinary measures as outlined below. Persons involved in the Code of Conduct issue will be expected to cooperate in all proceedings and will be held to the strictest guidelines of confidentiality in all matters pertaining to the issue.

  1. Any member of the College community may file a complaint against a student for an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
    1. The complainant notifies the student’s program director (or designee) of the alleged code of conduct issue, including evidence.
    2. The complainant must complete the Student Code of Conduct Conference Form. The conference form should be submitted within five business days (not including holidays or semester breaks) of when the event was identified to the program director.
    3. The program director contacts the student regarding the alleged violation to the Code of Conduct policy and schedules a meeting with the student to take place within five (5) business days (not including holidays or semester breaks) of receiving the Student Code of Conference Form. The program director advises the student to bring all supporting evidence to the meeting.
    4. Once the program director has been presented with information regarding the alleged violation and the response of the accused student, the program director has two primary options:
      1. Find the accused student not responsible for violating the Code of Conduct policy.
        1. If the student is found not responsible for violating the Code of Conduct policy, no disciplinary actions will be taken.
      2. Find the accused student more likely than not, responsible for violating the Code of Conduct policy.
        1. If the student is found to be in violation of the Code of Conduct policy, the program director will follow the individual department’s disciplinary procedures.
        2. The program director will document on the conference form the disciplinary action taken and informs student of their right to due process and timeline.*
        3. The program director will forward a copy of the form along with the evidence to the Vice President of Operations (VPO) and the BIT. The VPO and BIT’s purpose is for tracking and/or to recommend additional monitoring of the behavior and/or support services.
        4. Disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s confidential record. Upon graduation, cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than residence hall dismissal or College suspension/dismissal may be expunged from the student’s confidential record after five years. Disciplinary actions may be expunged from the student’s confidential record five years after the violation at the discretion of the BIT.
  2. The VPO will review and track issues of code of conduct and report data and trends of behavior to the College community.
  3. If the student fails to meet with the program director within the aforementioned deadline, the standing decision is final.
  4. Severe infractions of the Student Code of Conduct Policy may warrant immediate suspension or expulsion without the previously described steps as determined by the program director and/or VPO.**


Sanctions and Remediation

In most cases, and as part of the educational process, some form of disciplinary/learning sanction(s) will be assigned to students responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct. This policy outlines consequences for conduct violations based on the level of severity and frequency of the infraction.

Minor violations and associated sanctions:

Minor violations are usually treated with an initial verbal or written warning. Repeated minor offenses can ultimately lead to more strict consequences. Minor violations shall be handled at the departmental level, but documentation of the violation will be tracked by the VPO and BIT. Common examples of violations treated as more minor or typically receiving warnings include but are not limited to the following:

  • violation of departmental polices (e.g., attendance, clinical dress code violations)
  • unprofessional behavior/communication with peers, faculty, staff or administration (written or verbal, online or in person)

Major violations and associated sanctions:

Major violations are more significant or escalated in nature compared to minor violations. More aggressive behavior, for instance, could lead to harsher penalties. Written, documented warnings and suspensions are necessary penalties for major code of conduct violations. Examples of violations treated as major violations include but are not limited to the following:

  • multiple minor violations (whether of the same or different nature as the first)
  • theft
  • falsification of time cards, signed forms or other College documents

Severe violations and associated sanctions

Severe violations are often referred to as terminable offenses; violations considered severe normally result in either suspension or separation from the College. Examples of violations treated as severe violations include but are not limited to the following:

  • multiple violations (whether of the same or different nature from the others)
  • valid claims of physical threats made against others
  • bringing a weapon to the College or College sponsored function
  • destroying College property
  • possessing or distributing illegal drugs and/or substances at the College or College sponsored function

Although the following is not an exhaustive list of sanctions, it does provide examples of sanctions that may be assigned:

  1. Written warnings
  2. Learning projects
  3. Service to the community
  4. Restitution
  5. Monetary fines
  6. Assessment
  7. Referral for prosecution
  8. Restrictions or loss of privileges
  9. Disciplinary probation
  10. Residence hall suspension
  11. Residence hall expulsion
  12. Interim suspension
  13. Suspension
  14. Withholding a degree
  15. Expulsion

More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.

Remediation

Clarkson College does not prescribe to the thought that sanctioning should be exclusively punitive in nature. While punitive sanctions are sometimes necessary and appropriate, the belief is that sanctioning should be approached foremost with the educational interests of our students in mind. We endeavor to employ sanctions that are specific to the individual students who find themselves as participants in the conduct process. The intent of sanctioning a student who has been found responsible for a violation is to help that student better understand themselves in relation to others and grow in their decision-making processes, as well as to reduce the likelihood that the student will violate the code of conduct again in the future. Based on the violation, the student will perform one or more of the following remediation. The program director will be responsible for choosing what remediation(s) is appropriate and ensuring that the student carries out the remediation(s).

Reflective Remediation: Students may be asked to complete sanctions meant to promote growthoriented self-reflection. These sanctions may come in the form of journaling, writing essays on issues related to code of conduct, or working to seek out new perspectives on these issues in order to more astutely develop a meaningful personal ethic.

Community-Focused Sanctions: Students may be asked to complete sanctions that are focused on the development of their community. These sanctions may include a student putting together programs or events for their community, working to inform their community about a particular issue, or galvanizing support from their community to address a certain issue related to the student's violation(s).

Referrals to Campus Resources: Students may be referred to others on campus to continue the process of reflecting on how they can make their time at the College more successful. Some of the offices to which the student may be referred are the Success Center (for counseling, support or assessment) or their program director (for career or academic guidance).

Due Process

Code of conduct issues should be resolved at the lowest level possible. However, when a student disagrees with the program director regarding the issue, the student has fourteen (14) business days (not to include holidays or semester breaks) to submit an appeal in writing to the VPO. If the student fails to meet the above deadline for appealing a decision, the standing decision is final. The VPO will convene the Code of Conduct Committee to review the appeal within fourteen (14) business days (not to include holidays or semester breaks) of the request.

Code of Conduct Committee

The Code of Conduct Committee‘s purpose is to serve as an appellate board. The membership of the Code of Conduct Committee will consist of the following: the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) and the VPO will be the co-chairs and non-voting members of the Code of Conduct Committee. The co-chairs will deidentify the dispute to maintain confidentiality. The co-chairs will convene five (5) members of the College community for the Code of Conduct Committee. The co-chairs convene administration, student support staff, faculty, and students who are deemed to not have any conflicts of interest with regards to any part of the dispute. Members of the Code of Conduct Committee will be held to the strictest guidelines of confidentiality in all matters pertaining to the alleged violation. The committee will consist of the following:

  • 1 academic dean or program director/coordinator selected by the co-chair who is outside the student’s major or minor
  • 1 faculty member selected by the Faculty Senate President who teaches outside the student’s major or minor and who has had at least two full time semesters’ employment
  • 1 student support staff selected by the Director of Student Support Services
  • 2 students selected by the Student Government Association (SGA) who are enrolled outside the student’s major or minor and who have earned at least 24 semester hours at Clarkson College

Committee Procedures

  • Once the committee is convened, all evidence submitted by the respective program director and student will be provided by the co-chairs.
  • Upon reviewing the evidence, each committee member will submit a confidential ballot to the co-chairs indicating a substantiated or unsubstantiated vote.
    • Substantiated: evidence supports the code of conduct violation charges
    • Unsubstantiated: evidence is not sufficient to support the code of conduct violation charges
  • The outcome will be decided by a simple majority.

The Code of Conduct Committee’s decision is final. There is no appeal to this process.