Student Conduct Code
The code is not intended to replace existing procedures related to:
- discrimination or sexual harassment
- grade appeals
- requests for exceptions to academic policies
- appeals for tuition and fee reduction
- disputes relative to financial aid awards
- in-state tuition classification
For any other matters that are not included above, contact the Office of Student Life. It is a resource for accurate information and advocacy on behalf of the students at the College. Student Life personnel can advise and assist students with unusual circumstances, or with problems not addressed in the Student Handbook or College Catalog. Students should also review information available on the Judicial Affairs website, www.mscd.edu/~judicial/
The Following information defines the enforceable elements of the Student Code of Conduct.
Article I: Definitions
- The term “college” means Metropolitan State College of Denver.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the college, both full-time and part-time, pursuing undergraduate or professional studies.
- The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the college to conduct classroom activities.
- The term “college official” includes any person employed by the college performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
- The term “member of the college” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, college official, or any other person employed by the college.
- The term “college or campus premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the Auraria Higher Education Center, including the adjacent streets and sidewalks, and also includes Metro State Extended Campus locations.
- The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for college recognition.
- The title of “judicial officer” is that person designated by the college president to be responsible for the administration of the Student Conduct Code.
- The term “judicial body” means any person or persons authorized and identified by the judicial officer to determine whether a student has violated the Student Conduct Code and to recommend imposition of sanctions.
- The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
- The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
- The term “policy” is defined as the written regulations of the College as found in, but not limited to, the Student Conduct Code, Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, and Metro State Catalogs and Class Schedules.
- The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to:
- use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests or examinations;
- dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or
- the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic materials belonging to a member of the College faculty, staff, or other students.
- The term “fabrication” is the intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information, data, or citation in an academic exercise.
- “Facilitating academic dishonesty” means intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
- The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use by paraphrase or direct quotations of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency that may or may not be engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
- The phrase “submitting the same work for different classes” means submitting substantive portions of the same work in more than one class. Students are expected to turn in original work for each of their classes.
- The term “working days” refers to the number of days specified for each step of the procedure and does not include Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or days when the college is not in session and holding classes.
Article II: Judicial Authority
- The judicial officer shall determine the composition of judicial bodies and determine which judicial body or judicial advisor shall be authorized to hear each case.
- The judicial officer shall appoint a chair to the judicial body for each case.
- The judicial officer may develop policies for the administration of the judicial program and procedural rules for the conduct of hearings that are consistent with provisions of the Student Conduct Code.
- Decisions made by a judicial body, judicial officer, and judicial advisor shall be final, pending the normal appeal process.
- The judicial officer may extend time limits for good cause demonstrated in writing.
- The Judicial Officer may contact the Student Judicial Officers from the Community College of Denver or the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center on matters that involve students from either or both institutions.
Article III: Proscribed Conduct
A. Jurisdiction of the college
Generally, college jurisdiction and discipline shall be limited to conduct which occurs on college or campus premises, while a student is participating in college-sponsored activities, or which adversely affects the college community and/or the pursuit of its objectives.
B. Conduct – Rules and Regulations
Any student found to have committed the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV.
- Acts of dishonesty including, but not limited to, the following:
- cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty;
- furnishing false information to any college or campus official, faculty member, or office;
- forgery, alteration, or misuse of College document, record, or instrument of identification;
- tampering with the election of any College recognized student organization; or
- assisting anyone in the commission of any acts stated above.
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other college activities including its public service functions on and off campus, or other authorized non–college activities when the act occurs on college premises.
- Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/ or other conduct, which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
- Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the college or property of a member of the college community or AHEC or other personal or public property.
- 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. Hazing can be further defined as any action that produces physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Organizations engaging in such activities may be subject to the withdrawal of college recognition, and thus privileges and services, by the Office of Student Activities. Questions concerning this policy should be referred to the Director of Student Activities.
- Failure to comply with directions of college officials or the Auraria Campus Police acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
- Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys to any campus premises or unauthorized entry to, or use of, campus premises.
- Violation of published college policies, rules, or regulations.
- Violation of federal, state, or local law on college premises or at college-sponsored or supervised activities.
- Use, possession, or distribution of narcotics or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by the law.
- Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by the law and college regulation, or public intoxication.
- Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on college premises.
- Participation in campus demonstrations which disrupt the normal operations of the college (or other parts of the campus) or infringes on the rights of other members of the campus community; leading or inciting others or disrupting scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area; intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement on campus, either pedestrian or vehicular.
- Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on college premises or at college sponsored or supervised functions.
- Abetting or procuring another person to breach the peace on college premises or at functions sponsored by or participated in by the college.
- Any activity involving MSCD’s computing resources, which knowingly interferes with someone else’s academic freedom or the institution’s goals or policies.
- Abuse of the judicial system including, but not limited to:
- failure to obey the summons of a judicial body or college official;
- falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a judicial body or college official;
- disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding;
- institution of a judicial proceeding knowingly without cause;
- attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the judicial system;
- attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a judicial body prior to, and/or during the course of, the judicial proceeding;
- harassment - verbal or physical - and/or intimidation of a member of a judicial body prior to, during, and/or after a judicial proceeding;
- failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Conduct Code; or
- influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the judicial system.
- Intentionally obstructing or delaying a police officer, fire fighter, security officer, or college official in performance of his/her duty.
- Turning in a false bomb alarm or fire alarm, or misusing fire safety equipment.
- Leaving children unattended or unsupervised on campus grounds. This can constitute child abuse or child neglect (as outlined in the State of Colorado Child Protection Act of 1975). Children may be permitted in the classroom with the instructor’s permission and the understanding that the child’s presence is not disruptive.
- Influencing or attempting to influence the academic process through explicit or implied sexual behavior, bribery, or threats.
- Failing to comply with contractual obligations with the college.
- Furnishing false information or academic credentials with the intent to deceive or mislead when applying for admission to the college or for any of its programs and services.
- Conduct that is disorderly, lewd or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding and abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on Auraria premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by the College or members of the academic community. Disorderly conduct includes, but is not limited to: Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on College premises without his/her prior knowledge or without his/her effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a gym locker room or restroom.
- Knowingly pursuing malicious, frivolous or fraudulent charges against a faculty, student or staff member without cause.
Violation of Law and Student Code of Conduct
Students who exhibit unusual and/or unacceptable forms of behavior on campus premises can be requested to leave by Auraria Campus Police. A faculty member may also remove a student from the classroom one time and shall immediately contact the judicial officer to file an incident report. Permanent removal from a class is handled through the judicial process of the college. In addition to or in lieu of that, faculty members may refer students to the Counseling Center. The Dean of Student Life or judicial officer may administratively withdraw students exhibiting severe behavioral problems.
College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a law which is also a violation of this Student Conduct Code. For example, if both violations result from the same factual situation without regard to the pendency of civil litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution, proceedings under this Student Conduct Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off-campus.
Article IV: Judicial Processes
A. Charges and Hearings
- Any person may file a complaint against any student for misconduct. Complaints shall be prepared in writing in the form of an Incident report or comprehensive email and directed to the judicial officer responsible for the administration of the College judicial system. Any charge shall be submitted within 20 working days after discovering that the event has taken place.
- The judicial officer may notify the student of the complaint.
- The judicial officer may conduct an investigation to determine if the complaint has merit and/or if it can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the judicial officer. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the complaint cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the judicial officer may charge the student and continue with the administrative meeting or refer the matter to a judicial body for a formal hearing.
- In the event of a formal judicial hearing, the judicial officer shall present to the accused student in writing a statement of the allegations, the charges they would support and the potential consequences in the event that the judicial body finds the allegations to be true. A time shall be set for a hearing, generally not less than five (5) nor more than fifteen (15) working days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the judicial advisor.
- According to the following guidelines, a judicial body shall conduct hearings:
- Hearings shall be conducted in private.
- Admissions of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the judicial body and/or its judicial advisor.
- In hearings involving more than one accused student, the chairperson of the judicial body, in his/her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
- The complainant and the accused have the right to be assisted by any advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisor may be an attorney. However, the complainant and/or the accused is responsible for presenting his/her own case and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to participate in any hearing before a judicial body unless the college legal counsel specifically advises otherwise. The complainant will notify the judicial officer before the hearing of the name, address and telephone number of the advisor.
- The complainant, the accused and the judicial body shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses, subject to right of cross examination by the judicial body.
- Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by a judicial body at the discretion of the chairperson.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the judicial body.
- After the hearing, the judicial body shall determine - by majority vote if the judicial body consists of more than one person - whether the student has violated the Student Conduct Code.
- The judicial body’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Conduct Code.
- College legal counsel shall serve as legal advisor to the judicial officer and/or judicial body.
- There shall be a single verbatim record - such as a tape recording - of all hearings before a judicial body. The record shall be the property of the college.
- Except in the case of a student charged with failing to obey the summons of a judicial body or college official, no student may be found to have violated the student Conduct Code solely because the student failed to appear before a judicial body. In all cases, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Conduct Code:
- Informal warning- A warning that does not create a discipline record for the student but places him or her on Alert status. Only one infraction is eligible for Alert status. Additional violations may result in a discipline record for the student.
- Warning - A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
- Probation - A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
- Loss of Privileges - Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Fines - Previously established and published fines may be imposed.
- Restitution - Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Discretionary Sanctions - Work assignments, service to the college, or other related discretionary assignments that have the prior approval of the judicial advisor.
- College Suspension - Separation of the student from the college for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- College Expulsion - Permanent separation of the student from the college.
- More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
- 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, the student’s confidential record may be expunged of disciplinary actions - other than college suspension or expulsion. The student must make the request in writing to the Student Judicial Officer. Judicial records will be maintained in hardcopy format for seven (7) years and indefinitely in imaged format.
Note: A permanent grade of “F” issued as a result of academic dishonesty is not a “sanction” for purposes of this Student Code of Conduct.
- The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
- Those sanctions listed above in Section B1, a through e.
- Deactivation - Loss of all privileges, including college recognition, for a specified period of time.
- In each case in which a judicial body determines that a student has violated the Student Conduct Code, the sanction(s) shall be determined and imposed by the judicial officer. In cases in which persons other than the judicial officer have been authorized to serve as the judicial body, the judicial officer shall consider the recommendation of all members of the judicial body in determining and imposing sanctions. The judicial officer is not limited to sanctions recommended by members of the judicial body. Following the hearing, the judicial body and the judicial officer shall advise the accused in writing - within five (5) working days - of its determination and the sanctions(s) imposed, if any.
C. Interim Suspension
In certain circumstances, the Dean of Student Life, or judicial officer, may impose a college suspension prior to the hearing before a judicial body.
- Interim suspension may be imposed only:
- to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the campus community or preservation of campus property;
- to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
- if the student poses a definite threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operation of the college.
- During the interim suspension, students shall be denied access to the campus, including classes and/or all other college activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Dean of Student Life or judicial officer may determine to be appropriate
- A decision reached by the judicial body or a sanction imposed by the judicial officer may be appealed by accused students or complainants within five (5) working days of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Vice President of Student Services as the College President’s designee.
- Except as required to explain the basis of new evidence, an appeal shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:
- To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented and in conformity with prescribed procedures, giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.
- To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial evidence; that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code of Conduct which the student was found to have committed.
- To consider new evidence sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing because the person appealing did not know such evidence and/or facts at the time of the original hearing.
- If an appeal is upheld, the matter shall be remanded to the original judicial body and the judicial advisor for reopening of the hearing to allow reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanction(s).
In cases involving appeals by students accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct, review of the sanction(s) by the Vice President may not result in more severe sanction(s) for the accused student. Instead, following an appeal the judicial officer may, upon review of the case, reduce, but not increase, the sanction(s) imposed by the judicial body.
Article V: Interpretation and Revision
A. Any question of interpretation regarding the Student Conduct Code shall be referred to the Dean of Student Life or designee for final determination.
B. The Student Conduct Code shall be reviewed every five (5) years under the direction of the Dean of Student Life or designee, Provost or Designee and the Student Government assembly President or Designee.