Non-academic misconduct constitutes any violation not associated with academic performance. All students shall obey the law, show respect for properly constituted authority, and observe correct standards of conduct.
Unless otherwise indicated, the Code of Conduct applies to offenses on Alamo Colleges Premises and at Alamo Colleges Sponsored Activities; however, note that the definition of “Alamo Colleges Premises” contemplates that the use of Alamo Colleges resources such as internet access (including WiFi, ACES, Blackboard Vista) and telecommunications devices (including telephones) in the commission of any offense require the offense to be considered to have occurred while physically on Alamo Colleges Premises regardless of where the offense occurs. Throughout the Code of Conduct, capitalized terms indicate those terms are specifically defined in the Definitions section.
In addition to any and all activities prohibited by law and Alamo Colleges policies, procedures, and college rules, the following is a nonexclusive list of expressly prohibited behavior:
- Engaging in Inappropriate Behavior or Communications. Violation of this provision shall include posting or transmitting of inappropriate messages electronically (such as via Blackboard Vista or other distance learning platform or via e-mail).
- Engaging in Disruptive Behavior. Violation of this provision shall include “heckling” or making inappropriate noises during class, which interrupts the flow of instruction or student concentration. Violation shall also include inaudible behavior such as passing notes, sending/receiving text messages, checking e-mail or otherwise violating rules of behavior described in the class syllabus.
- Belonging to or soliciting membership in a Criminal Street Gang. Violation of this provision shall be presumed when “colors”, signs (such as hand gestures) or any symbols reasonably associated with gang membership are displayed, exhibited or communicated.
- Participating in or promoting Gambling activities unless they are sponsored by the ACCD Foundation or otherwise permitted by law for charitable purposes.
- Engaging in Public Indecency.
- Displaying or distributing Obscene photographs, drawings or similar visual representations or other Obscene material.
- Possessing or Promoting Child Pornography.
- Possessing a Weapon, except that Firearm License Holders shall only possess Firearms in strict accordance with the terms of the license and shall in no event possess a Firearm in a building on any Alamo Colleges Premises and Peace Officers shall only possess Firearms in strict accordance with TCLEOSE requirements and those of the commissioning agency.
- Possessing or deploying a Hoax Bomb or any container that may reasonably be perceived to contain a Hoax Bomb or an Explosive Weapon.
- Engaging in Disorderly Conduct.
- Participating in or organizing a Riot, unless the assembly was at first lawful and peaceful and when the Student tried to leave when one of those assembled manifested an intent to start a Riot.
- Communicating or circulating a False Alarm or Report.
- Photographing or otherwise visually recording (by any means) another without the other person’s consent, under circumstances which would tend to cause arousal or sexual gratification to any person.
- Assaulting any person.
- Sexually Assaulting any person.
- Starting any fire, regardless of whether the fire continues after ignition or causes an explosion unless doing so is appropriate as part of a Alamo Colleges Sponsored Activity (such as a lab or classroom activity) under appropriate faculty supervision.
- Engaging or participating in Criminal Mischief.
- Committing or attempting an act of Theft.
- Attempting to negotiate a stolen check.
- Engaging in Forgery or possessing, issuing, transferring, registering the transfer of, passing, publishing, or otherwise uttering a writing that is a result of Forgery.
- Presenting or using a credit or debit card which should be known to have not been issued to that person and is not used with the effective consent of the cardholder; or the card has expired or has been revoked or cancelled.
- Making a materially false or misleading written statement to obtain property or Credit for that person or another (including student loans or grants).
- Issuing a Bad Check.
- Preparing, selling, offering or advertising for sale, or delivering to another person an Academic Product, in exchange for anything of value, except where the conduct consists solely of offering or providing tutoring or editing assistance to another person in connection with the other person’s preparation of an Academic Product to satisfy the other person’s academic requirement, and the particular Student does not offer or provide substantial preparation, writing, or research in the production of the Academic Product.
- Influencing or attempting to influence an employee, faculty member or administrator in a specific exercise of official duties (such as course grades, extensions of deadlines or waivers of academic requirements) by offering any benefit to the employee, faculty member or administrator.
- Hazing, soliciting, encouraging, directing, aiding, permitting or attempting to aid another in Hazing or failing to report known Hazing incidents to the Administration.
- Failing to leave a classroom, office or building when requested to do so by a faculty member, employee, police officer or Administrator.
- Alcohol and Drug Use (see F.4.5 and F.4.5.Ex):
- The use of intoxicating beverages shall be prohibited on Alamo Colleges Premises or at Alamo Colleges Sponsored Activities; provided, however, that with the prior consent of the Board, the provisions herein may be waived with respect to any specific affair that is sponsored by the Alamo Colleges. State law shall be strictly enforced at all times on all property controlled by the Alamo Colleges in regard to the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- No Student shall possess, use, transmit, or attempt to possess, use, or transmit or be under the influence of (legal intoxication not required) any of the following substances on Alamo Colleges Premises or at a Alamo Colleges Sponsored Activity, function or event at all times:
- Any controlled substance or dangerous drug as defined by law, including, but not limited to, marijuana, any narcotic drug, hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, amphetamine, or barbiturate.
- Alcohol or any alcoholic beverage.
- Any abusable glue, aerosol paint, or any other chemical substance for inhalation.
- Any other intoxicant, or mood-changing, mind-altering, or behavior-altering drugs.
- The transmittal, sale, or attempted sale of what is represented to be any of the above-listed substances is also prohibited under this procedure.
- A Student who uses a drug authorized by a licensed physician through a prescription specifically for that Student's use shall not be considered to have violated this rule.
- Engaging in Sexual Harassment toward any member of the Alamo Colleges Community (see F.4.3 and F.4.3.1.).
- Engaging in other Harassment motivated by race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, veteran status, disability or any other reason and directed toward any member of the Alamo Colleges Community (see F.4.4 and F.4.4.1).
- Tampering with fire extinguishers, fire alarm boxes, or smoke or heat detectors anywhere on Alamo Colleges Premises or at a Alamo Colleges Sponsored Activity.
- Ejecting objects from buildings or vehicles on Alamo Colleges Premises or at a Alamo Colleges Sponsored Activity.
- Failing to comply with lawful directions of Alamo Colleges officials (including Administrators, faculty members and Police Officers) acting in performance of their duties.
- Failing to comply with Alamo Colleges policies, procedures, regulations, and administrative rules, including but not limited to those pertaining to traffic, parking and the use of Alamo Colleges facilities.
- Inappropriate use of information technology resources (see C.1.9 policy and C.1.9.1 procedure).
- Unauthorized possession, duplication, distribution, or use of keys to any Alamo Colleges Premises.
- Unauthorized entry into or use of Alamo Colleges Premises, or allowing such entry or use by others.
- Obtaining, possessing, transferring, or using Identifying Information of another person without the other person’s consent, to harm or defraud another.
- Obstruction or attempted obstruction of the disciplinary process (investigations, hearings or proceeding), including failure to comply with the instructions of the Student Conduct Administrator or the guidelines of the sanction(s). Violations include but are not limited to:
- Failure to obey the summons or notice by the Student Conduct Administrator, a disciplinary body, or other Alamo Colleges official.
- Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information before a hearing officer or committee.
- Disruption or interference of the orderly conduct of a disciplinary proceeding.
- Attempting to discourage participation in or use of the disciplinary process.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of the Hearing Committee prior to and/or during the course of the disciplinary proceeding.
- Harassment (verbal, non-verbal or physical) or intimidation of a member of the Hearing Committee, or harassment or intimidation of an individual for filing a complaint, testifying, assisting, cooperating with, or participating in any manner in the disciplinary process.
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed.
- Influencing, or attempting to influence, another person to commit an abuse of the disciplinary process.
Academic Integrity Violations
Administrators may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of scholastic dishonesty. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, Academic Misconduct, Cheating, Plagiarism, Fabrication and Collusion.
Student Code of Conduct Definitions
The following definitions shall apply in the Code of Student Conduct:
Academic Misconduct - the intentional violation of college policies, such as tampering with grades, misrepresenting one’s identity, or taking part in obtaining or distributing any part of a test or assessment, or any information regarding the content of such an instrument.
Academic Product – a term paper, thesis, dissertation, essay, report, recording, work of art, or other written, recorded, pictorial, or artistic product or material submitted or intended to be submitted by a person to satisfy an academic requirement of the person.
Administration/Administrator - any Alamo Colleges administrative position, from the level of Dean through college President at the college level and from the level of Director through Chancellor at the District level.
Alamo Colleges - the Alamo Colleges including all of its colleges and other units.
Alamo Colleges Community - Alamo Colleges students, guests, employees, Trustees, and contractors.
Alamo Colleges Premises - all property owned or controlled by the Alamo Colleges. Use of Alamo Colleges resources such as internet access (WiFi, ACES, Blackboard Vista) and telecommunications devices (including telephones) in the commission of any offense shall be considered committing the offence while physically on Alamo Colleges Premises regardless of where the offense occurs.
Alamo Colleges Sponsored Activity - any activity on or off Alamo Colleges Premises initiated, approved, or supervised by the Alamo Colleges.
Assault – causing bodily injury to another; threatening another with imminent bodily injury; or causing offensive or provocative physical contact with another.
Board - the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees.
Cheating - the use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, or study aids; or an act of deceit by which a student attempts to misrepresent academic skills or knowledge; or unauthorized copying or collaboration.
Chemical Dispensing Device – a device, other than a small chemical dispenser sold commercially for personal protection, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of dispensing a substance capable of causing an adverse psychological or physiological effect on a human being.
Chief Student Affairs Officer - the college chief student affairs officer or designee.
Child Pornography – visual material (including that stored on any physical medium that allows an image to be displayed on a computer or other video screen) that visually depicts a child younger than 18 years of age at the time the image was made who is engaging in Sexual Conduct.
Club – an instrument specially designed, made or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury, death, or death by striking a person with the instrument, including a blackjack; nightstick; mace; and tomahawk.
Collusion - assisting another to commit an act of academic dishonesty, such as paying or bribing someone to acquire a test or assignment, taking a test or doing an assignment for someone else, or allowing someone to do these things for one’s own benefit.
Criminal Street Gang – three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities.
Credit – a loan of money; furnishing property or service on credit; or extending the due date of an obligation.
Criminal Mischief – damaging or destroying tangible property of another (including the College District); tampering with the tangible property of another (including the College District), causing pecuniary loss or substantial inconvenience to another (including the College District); or making markings, including graffiti, inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on the tangible property of another (including the College District).
Disorderly Conduct – includes the following:
- use of abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language that by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;
- making an offensive gesture or display which tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;creating, by chemical means, a noxious and unreasonable odor;
- abusing or threatening a person in an obviously offensive manner;
- making an unreasonable noise; fighting with another; or exposing a person’s anus or genitals with reckless disregard for whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by the act.
Disruptive Behavior – any behavior that unreasonably interferes with or adversely affects the learning environment.
Explosive Weapon – any explosive or incendiary bomb, grenade, rocket, or mine, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, or for the principal purpose of causing such a loud report as to cause undue public alarm or terror.
Fabrication - intentional misrepresentation or invention of any information, such as falsifying research, inventing or exaggerating data, or listing incorrect or fictitious references.
False Alarm or Report – a report of a crime or wrongdoing or present, past, or future bombing, fire, offense, or other emergency that is false or baseless and that would ordinarily cause action by Administration or the Police Department/law enforcement; place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or prevent or interrupt the occupation of a building, room, place of assembly, or place to which the public has access.
Firearm – 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.
Forgery – altering, making, completing, executing, or authenticating any writing so that it purports: to be the act of another who did not authorize the act; to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case; or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed.
Gambling – making a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest; making a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or playing and betting for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls or any other gambling device.
Hazing - any act occurring on or off the Alamo Colleges Premises directed against a student, by one person alone or acting with others, that endangers the mental or physical health or the 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. The term includes:
- Any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Texas Penal Code.
Hearing Committee - The committee appointed by the college president to hear Student Code of Conduct issues appealed by the student.
Hoax Bomb – a device that reasonably appears to be an explosive or incendiary device or by its design causes alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency, including the Alamo Colleges Police Department.
Inappropriate Behavior or Communication - offensive, abusive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behavior or communication in any form, makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated or vulnerable, which undermines their self-confidence and which would cause a reasonable person to suffer stress.
Identifying Information – information that alone or in conjunction with other information identifies an individual, including an individual’s:
- name, social security number, date of birth, and Alamo Colleges or other government-issued identification number;
- unique biometric data, including the individual’s fingerprint, voice print, and retina or iris image;
- unique electronic identification number, address, and routing code; and
- telecommunications identifying information or access device (i.e., card, plate, code, account number, personal identification number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrument identifier or means of account access that alone or in conjunction with another telecommunications device may be used to obtain money, goods, services or other thing of value; or initiate a transfer of funds other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument).
Illegal Knife – a knife with a blade over five and one-half inches; a hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown; a dagger; a bowie knife; a sword; or a spear.
Issuance of a Bad Check - issuance or passage of a check of similar sight order for the payment of money when there are not sufficient funds in or on deposit with the bank or other drawee for the payment in full of the check or order as well as all other checks or orders outstanding at the time of issuance.
Knuckles – any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of hard substance and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles.
License Holder – persons permitted to carry certain Firearms under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.
Obscene – material (in any form) that the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest in sex; depicts or describes sexual acts or patently offensive (affronting current community standards of decency) representations or descriptions of masturbation, excretory functions, sadism, masochism, lewd exhibition of the genitals, the male or female genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal, covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state or a device designed and marketed as useful primarily for stimulation of the human genital organs; and taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political and scientific value.
Peace Officer – a person elected, employed, or appointed as a peace officer under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 51.212 or 51.214, Education Code, or other law; including Alamo Colleges police officers.
Plagiarism - the unauthorized or undocumented use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.
Promote – to procure, manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmit, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise or offer or agree to do any of the above.
Public Indecency – Sexual Contact, Sexual Conduct or prostitution (offering or soliciting for sexual conduct for a fee or for hire).
Riot – the assembly of seven or more persons resulting in conduct which creates an immediate danger of damage to property or injury to persons; substantially obstructs law enforcement or other governmental functions or services; or by force, threat of force, or physical action deprives any person of a legal right or disturbs an person in the enjoyment of a legal right.
Sexual Assault – an Assault that involves Sexual Contact.
Sexual Conduct – actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals, the anus, or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.
Sexual Contact - touching of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of another person.
Stalking – engaging in activity reasonably regarded as threatening of bodily injury to, death of the other person or damage to the other person’s property pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct that is directed specifically at another person on more than one occasion (including following the other person).
Student - a person who is currently enrolled or who has been accepted for admission or readmission to a college of the Alamo Colleges.
Student Conduct Administrator - a Alamo Colleges official, or his/her designee, authorized to impose sanctions upon any student(s) found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Theft – appropriating property of another without the owner’s effective consent or appropriating property of another under circumstances where the receiving person should know the property was appropriated from another without the owner’s effective consent.
Weapon – a Firearm, Illegal Knife, Club, Explosive Weapon, firearm silencer, Knuckles, ammunition, or Chemical Dispensing Device.
Non-Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Process
Following is the disciplinary process for non-academic violations of the Student Code of Conduct
Investigation of Non-Academic Misconduct
Initiation of Action
When confronted with a student in any violation of the Student Code of Conduct in or out of the classroom, college personnel are responsible for reporting the violation through the appropriate channels. The incident should be documented in report form and, in some cases, when the Alamo Colleges Police Department (Campus Police) is called, may be accompanied by a Campus Police report. The report is then immediately forwarded to the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee. As used throughout this Procedure, the Chief Student Affairs Officer is the administrator designated by each college President to perform functions described in this Procedure.
Attempts to resolve the conflict with the student at the lowest level is strongly encouraged.
Exigent Circumstances Involving Maintaining Safety
In circumstances involving disruption, violence, threat or safety of the student or others, the student may be asked to leave by the instructor. If necessary, aid in the removal of the student may be sought from the Department Chair, Administrative Leader or Campus Police. If the student is removed from the classroom, the Department Chair must be notified along with, if necessary, the Campus Police and the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee.
The Chief Student Affairs Officer may suspend a student immediately and without prior notice for an interim period, when there is reasonable indication that the student poses a substantial threat to himself/herself, to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal Alamo Colleges operations.
The suspension shall not delay or otherwise affect the initiation of other disciplinary proceedings related to the underlying alleged violation of the Code of Conduct. The Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee shall continue to investigate and process the underlying violation.
A student who is suspended on an interim basis shall be given an opportunity to appear before the Chief Student Affairs Officer or a designee within five days from the effective date of the interim suspension, to characterize his/her conduct and to put it in what he/she deems the proper context. The meeting between the student and the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee may take place at any location within the Alamo Colleges and may be attended by Campus Police or anyone else deemed necessary by and within the sole discretion of the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee, however, failure by the student to avail him/herself of the opportunity to meet with the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee shall not affect the decision to impose interim suspension. The decision to impose interim suspension may be appealed in the same manner as other disciplinary actions.
Complaint and Investigation
When the Chief Student Affairs Officer receives information that a student has allegedly violated the Student Code of Conduct, the Chief Student Affairs Officer or a designee shall investigate the alleged violation. During the investigation, the Chief Student Affairs Officer or a designee may (but is not required to) summon the student for a conference for further evaluation of the allegation.
If the Chief Student Affairs Officer or a designee requires a conference with the student, the student may be summoned to appear by certified letter, addressed to the student at his or her address as it appears in the student’s record, or by other means available and appropriate such as the Alamo Colleges e-mail system.
The summons shall direct the student to appear at a specified time and place not more than five days after the date of notification unless otherwise agreed. The notification shall include a brief description of the alleged violation.
The Chief Student Affairs Officer or a designee should create a positive dialogue with the student whenever possible with the goal of guiding the student to meet expectations, by:
- Explaining the role of the Chief Student Affairs Officer;
- Explaining the importance of the Student Code of Conduct;
- Discussing the behavior that led to the allegation; and
- Allowing the student the opportunity to explain his or her behavior.
After completing the investigation, the Chief Student Affairs Officer or a designee shall do one of the following (as warranted in the sole discretion of the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee):
Dismiss the allegation as unfounded; or
Make specific findings of fact as to what conduct giving rise to disciplinary action occurred and move on to the Disciplinary Action Stage to determine an appropriate sanction based on the findings of fact.
The following sanctions comprise a range of official College actions which may be taken for non-academic violations of the Code of Conduct. Some of these sanctions may also be imposed for academic integrity violations in addition to the academic integrity sanctions set forth in F.4.2.3.
- Administrative Hold: Registration, transcript or degree may be withheld for a student who fails to pay a debt owed to the college or who has a disciplinary case pending final disposition. The penalty terminates upon payment of the debt or final disposition of the case.
- Admonishment: An oral or written reprimand to the student upon whom it is imposed.
- Bar Against Readmission: A student may be barred from readmission to any of the colleges, who has been placed on academic dismissal or expelled for disciplinary reasons and continues to be a threat to students or the college.
- Community/College Service: A student may be required to complete a predetermined number of service hours based on nature of the offense.
- Disciplinary Probation: An official written warning imposed for a defined length of time, up to one calendar year. During the probationary period, further violations will result in more severe disciplinary action. The student shall be automatically removed from probation when the imposed period expires and has not been extended.
- Educational Enrichment: A disciplinary action designed to advance student learning which may include self-help workshops, seminars, counseling, etc.
- Expulsion: Permanent severance from all of the Alamo Colleges. A permanent notation of expulsion will be placed on the student’s transcript.
- Restitution: Reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of funds or property. Reimbursement may take the form of appropriate service to repair or compensation for damages.
- Suspension of Privileges: A penalty which may impose limitations or restrictions to fit the particular case. Such suspension may be for any length of time, up to one (1) calendar year. Denial of privileges may include but are not limited to use of computer labs, library, participation in co-curricular events, etc.
- Suspension: Prohibits the student from attending any college related activities on or off campus for any of the colleges or other Alamo Colleges units unless officially summoned. Suspension may be for any length of time up to one calendar year.
Administrative Disposition of Violations
In rendering a decision, the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee will:
- Provide to the student a notice of the decision that includes a summary of the violation (with references to the Code of Conduct), disciplinary sanction(s), and notification of the student’s right to appeal; and
- Attempt to obtain a signed or e-mailed acknowledgment from the student that the student understands the allegation, the decision (including the penalty imposed), and the right to appeal. If the student refuses to sign or e-mail such an acknowledgment, the record shall reflect the fact that the student was informed but refused to acknowledge understanding. The use of Alamo Colleges e-mail shall be permitted for this purpose but the student should be asked to reply acknowledging receipt or a read receipt should be requested and received if technologically feasible.
Appeal of Disciplinary Action
Timelines for Appeal of Disciplinary Action
“Days” means College class days unless specified otherwise. The timelines set forth in this procedure are maximums and, whenever possible, the specified action should be taken within a shorter period of time. Time limits may be extended at the discretion of the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee for circumstances such as unavailability of key personnel due to leave, absence or emergency closures, holidays, or semester breaks. The College shall send a written confirmation of the extension to the student.
The College shall make every practicable attempt to administer the complaint/disciplinary/appeal process timely. Should it fail to do so, however, its untimeliness shall not constitute a violation of the student’s rights, and the College’s failure to administer the process timely cannot be used against the College to resolve any ultimate matter of fact.
Disciplinary Hearing Committee
When a student wishes to appeal the administrative disposition of a violation, he/she is entitled to a hearing before a Disciplinary Hearing Committee. The student must make the request to the designated administrator in writing on or before the fifth day following the administrative disposition.
The Disciplinary Hearing Committee shall be selected by the College President or designee and membership may consist of five individuals as follows:
- Two students
- A faculty member
- A staff member
- An administrative officer
The College President shall appoint one of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee members to chair the committee. The Chief Student Affairs Officer or a designee shall represent the College before the Disciplinary Hearing Committee and present evidence to support the allegations of violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The Chief Student Affairs Officer or a designee may be assisted by legal counsel assigned by the District General Counsel when, in the opinion of the Chief Student Affairs Officer or a designee, the best interests of the student or the College would be served by such assistance.
The Disciplinary Hearing Committee Chair shall notify the student concerned by letter of the date, time, and place for the hearing, which should if practicable take place within 10 days after the date of the letter but in no event more than 30 days after the date of the letter. As deemed necessary, the hearing date may be rescheduled by the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee or otherwise by mutual agreement of the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee and the student.
This notice shall:
- Contain sufficient detail to apprise the student of the allegation and the potential consequences to enable the student to prepare a response.
- Direct the student to appear on the date, time, and place specified.
- Advise the student of the following:
- The student may request and have a confidential hearing
- The student may appear in person and with parents or legal guardian, a representative, or legal counsel at the hearing. If the student will be accompanied by legal counsel, the student must inform the Code of Conduct Administrator at least 48 hours prior to the hearing;
- The student will be informed of the identity of each witness who will testify for the Alamo Colleges (unless the witness is called to rebut testimony of the student or the student’s witness(es);
- The student may call witnesses and ask for copies of evidence in the Alamo Colleges’s possession in advance of the hearing and offer evidence and argue in his or her behalf at the hearing;
- The student may have the hearing recorded verbatim and have a stenographic digest made of the recording or a transcript of the hearing, at the student’s expense;
- The student may cross-examine each witness who testifies against the student;
- The student may petition the President of the College if the student is not satisfied with the decision (see “Administrative Review”); and the names of witnesses who will testify against the student and a description of the documentation and other evidence that will be offered against the student.
- Contain a copy of the complaint.
- Notify the student that the administrator may be represented by counsel and that the administrator or counsel may cross-examine the student or a witness testifying on the student’s behalf.
Failure to Comply with Notice
The Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee may, on behalf of the Alamo Colleges and at his/her discretion, proceed with the hearing in the student’s absence.
The Disciplinary Hearing Committee shall proceed generally as follows during the hearing:
- The student is greeted and identified based on the incident report.
- The Committee Chair will briefly state the purpose for the hearing.
- The Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee will read the complaint and present the College’s case.
- The student will present his or her response.
- The Chief Student Affairs Officer and the student may present rebuttal evidence and argument.
- All evidence shall be offered to the Disciplinary Hearing Committee and made part of the record.
- The Disciplinary Hearing Committee shall make its decision strictly upon the evidence presented at the hearing.
- A student cannot be compelled to testify against him or herself.
- Committee members may, if necessary, question witnesses, but they are encouraged to allow the participants to conduct the examinations.
- If the Disciplinary Hearing Committee finds the student has violated the Student Code of Conduct, the Committee will uphold or amend the original sanction or impose an appropriate penalty.
- Upon completion of the hearing the Committee shall:
- Date in writing each finding of the violation and imposed penalty.
- Include in the statement its reasons for the finding(s).
- Sign the statement.
- The Disciplinary Hearing Committee Chair informs the student, Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee, and President of the decision and disposition.
Legal rules of evidence do not apply to hearings before the Disciplinary Hearing Committee. The Committee will consider evidence tending to prove or disprove the allegations. The Committee shall exclude irrelevant, immaterial and unduly repetitious evidence and evidence deemed not reasonably reliable or authentic. If the student chooses not to testify, no inference may be drawn from the failure to testify. If the student does testify, he or she may be questioned by the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee, or committee members.
The Disciplinary Hearing Committee shall recognize as privileged communications between a student and a member of the professional counseling staff such communications that were made in the counsel of performance of official duties and were understood by the staff member and the student to be confidential. However, if the information disclosed presents an actual or threatened harm to the health, safety or well being of any person (including the student), it is not privileged information and may be used for any appropriate purpose, including referral to the Strategies of Behavioral Intervention (SOBI) process.
In rendering a decision, the Disciplinary Hearing Committee may affirm the decision of the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee ; reverse the decision and dismiss the charge(s); hold the decision in abeyance and send the matter back for further investigation by the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee; or impose other disciplinary action listed above. The decision should be rendered as soon as practicable, within 10 days of the hearing (unless further investigation is warranted and in that case, within 10 days of completion of further investigation to the satisfaction of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee).
The Disciplinary Hearing Committee’s record shall include:
- A copy of the notice;
- All documentation and evidence considered by the Committee;
- The Committee’s decision and disposition; and
- A transcript or electronic record of the hearing (at the student’s expense) if any.
The Disciplinary Hearing Committee Chair informs the student, Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee, and President of the decision and disposition. The hearing record shall be kept separate from the student’s academic record however; the decision and sanctions imposed shall be incorporated as appropriate into the student’s academic record.
Petition for Administrative Review
A student is entitled to petition the President of the College for administrative review. The student shall file the petition with the Office of the President of the College within 10 days from the date of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee’s decision. In order to overrule the decision of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee, the President must find the following: procedural error, arbitrary or capricious treatment of the student, or substantial evidence supporting reversal. The President may request additional evidence if needed. The decision of the President to uphold or reverse the Committee’s decision should be issued within 30 days of the date of petition or, in the case of expulsion, 30 days from the date of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee’s decision, whichever is later. The President should address his/her decision in writing to the student with a copy to members of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee.
Review of Expulsions
Regardless of whether the student appeals a decision to expel the student, the President of the College shall automatically review and approve or reverse every expulsion. Further, expulsion from the Alamo Colleges may by imposed only by concurrence of the Chancellor of the Alamo Colleges. This provision does not alter the deadlines for appeal to the Disciplinary Hearing Committee. Therefore, if the student does not appeal within the time constraints, the review of expulsion described in this provision is not subject to appeal and is final, upon concurrence by the Chancellor.
Academic Integrity Disciplinary Process
Following is the disciplinary process for academic violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
Timelines for Academic Integrity Disciplinary Process
“Days” means College class days unless specified otherwise. The timelines set forth in this procedure are maximums and, whenever possible, the specified action should be taken within a shorter period of time. Time limits may be extended at the discretion of the Chief Student Affairs Officer (CSAO) or designee for circumstances such as unavailability of key personnel due to leave, absence or emergency closures, holidays, or semester breaks. The College shall send a written confirmation of the extension to the student.
The College shall make every practicable attempt to administer the complaint/disciplinary/appeal process in a timely fashion. Should it fail to do so, however, its untimeliness shall not constitute a violation of the student’s rights, and the College’s failure to administer the process timely cannot be used against the College to resolve any ultimate matter of fact.
If a faculty member finds that a student is in possible violation of the academic standards of the Student Code of Conduct (see F.4.2.1, “Academic Integrity Violations”), the faculty member shall document the act, completing the Academic Integrity Report Form in F.4.2.3.F) online and attaching relevant evidence.
The faculty member shall notify the student and explain the procedures and possible penalties. The faculty member shall provide the student a copy of this procedure and Procedure F.4.2.1, and the student will be allowed to explain the incident.
The faculty member shall then meet with the student, at a time arranged between the student and faculty member, to allow the student to explain the incident. The faculty member subsequently may, at his/her discretion, impose any of the following sanctions:
- Dismiss the charge.
- Issue a written warning to the student.
- Reduce the grade on the assignment or test.
- Reduce the final grade for the class.
Each of the consequences 2–4 shall be accompanied by a completed and signed Academic Integrity Report Form. If the student agrees with the faculty member’s decision, the form shall be submitted electronically to the CSAO and the paper copy shall be filed in the department office.
If the student contests the decision of the faculty member, the matter goes to the Chair, or the respective Dean or Dean’s designee if the faculty member is also a Chair. The student shall continue to attend all class sessions and meet all course requirements during the appeal process.
The decision of the Chair shall occur within five days and be recorded on the form. If the student agrees with the decision, the form shall be submitted electronically to the CSAO and the paper copy shall be filed with the department office.
If the student disagrees with the decision of the Chair, the matter proceeds within five business days to the Academic Integrity Panel. The decision of the panel is final and should be recorded on the Academic Integrity Report Form. The electronic form shall be maintained by the CSAO and a paper copy shall be filed with the department office.
The Chief Academic Affairs Officer (CAAO) activates the Academic Integrity Panel and members are drawn from the Academic Integrity Committee from which five members can be asked to serve when needed. The Academic Integrity Committee shall consist of a pool of members (8-12) that shall include:
- 4-6 Full-time tenure-track faculty members
- 2-3 members of the professional staff
- 2-3 members of the student body
All members of the Academic Integrity Committee shall serve two years and receive due process training. The CAAO shall notify all parties in writing of the date, time and location of the hearing.
A Chair shall be elected from the Academic Integrity Panel to lead the proceedings. The Academic Integrity Panel shall consist of the following:
- 2 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members
- 1 staff member
- 1 student support staff
- 1 member of the student body
Within five days of receiving an Academic Integrity Report Form, the CSAO will notify all parties in writing of the date, time and location of the hearing. At the hearing, the student will meet with the faculty member and Academic Integrity Panel to hear the charges and present his/her side of the case. If the student misses the hearing, the faculty member and Academic Integrity Panel may proceed with the process to completion. The Academic Integrity Panel will consider any evidence submitted at the hearing, and interview persons as needed.
The decision of the Academic Integrity Panel is final. The Academic Integrity Panel has five business days in which to make its final report. The Academic Integrity Panel must send written notification of the results to the student, the faculty member, the CSAO and the CAAO.
When the CAAO receives the Academic Integrity Panel’s decision and the completed Academic Integrity Report Form, the student’s history of academic integrity violations will be reviewed and if the accusation of the violation is upheld, further sanctions may be applied if the circumstances of the violation warrant this (i.e., repeat behavior, multiple incidents, severely egregious offense, etc). Such sanctions may include, but are not limited to, probation, expulsion, counseling, mandatory attendance in an academic integrity class, and denial of degrees/certificates (up to and including permanent denial). In the case of denial of degrees/certificates, the college reserves the right to contact transfer partners to provide corrected transcripts without the approval of the student.
Academic Integrity Report Form
A pdf downloadable copy of the Academic Integrity Report Form is available here.