Tacoma Community College is committed to a campus environment that supports learning, campus life, and thoughtful dialogue. The student conduct process is educational and balances the interests of individual students with the interests of the Tacoma Community College community.
At Tacoma Community College, students are expected to maintain certain standards of conduct that form the basis of the Code of Student Conduct. These standards are reflective of core values that include integrity, social justice, respect, community, and responsibility.
The student conduct process at Tacoma Community College is not intended to punish students; rather, it is designed to protect the interests of the community and to challenge those whose behavior does not meet college expectations. The intent of conduct sanctions is to challenge students’ moral and ethical decision making and to help them bring their behavior into accord with our community’s core values.
The student conduct process is quite different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Due process, as defined by the college, provides written notice and a hearing before an objective decision maker. No student will be found in violation of a provision of the Tacoma Community College Code of Student Conduct (code) without information showing that it is more likely than not that a code violation occurred, and any sanctions will be in proportion to the severity of the violation and the conduct history of the student.
Tacoma Community College reserves the right to make changes to this code as necessary, and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. Students are encouraged to check online on the Tacoma Community College Policies site, https://www.tacomacc.edu/about/policies/ , for the updated versions of this Code of Student Conduct and all TCC policies and procedures. Paper copies of this document are available at the office of the Vice President of Student Affairs located in Building 7.
To receive this document in an alternate format or different language, please contact Student Affairs Administration in Building 7.
To Whom Does This Policy Apply
Tacoma Community College retains conduct jurisdiction over students who withdraw or have graduated for any misconduct that occurred prior to the withdrawal or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to reenroll and/or obtain official transcripts and/or graduate, and all sanctions must be satisfied prior to re-enrollment eligibility. In the event of serious misconduct committed while the student is still enrolled but reported after the accused student has graduated, Tacoma Community College may invoke these Code of Student Conduct procedures and, should the former student be found responsible, Tacoma Community College may revoke that student’s degree.
The Code of Student Conduct applies to actions that take place on college premises and at Tacoma Community College-sponsored events, and may also apply to conduct that occurs that is not on college premise when the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial Tacoma Community College interest. A substantial Tacoma Community College interest is defined to include:
- Any situation where it appears that the student’s conduct may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of themselves or others;
- Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; or
- Any situation that is detrimental to, or inconsistent with, the interests of Tacoma Community College, or its vision or mission.
The Code of Student Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email, or other electronic medium, especially when it is something (1) that a reasonable person would perceive as a threat, such as an expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon specific individuals, or (2) causes a significant disruption whether on-campus or online. Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats, and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private and can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online.
There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Code of Student Conduct; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for Tacoma Community College officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations.
Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit Tacoma Community College’s ability to investigate and respond to a complaint. Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to report it as quickly as possible to the student conduct administrator and/or to Campus Public Safety.
Students who participate in any college-sponsored or sanctioned international program shall observe and are subject to the following:
- The laws of the host country;
- The academic and disciplinary regulations of the educational institution or residential housing program where the student is placed;
- Any other agreements related to the student's program in another country; and
- Tacoma Community College's Code of Student Conduct.
Violations of the Law
Alleged violations of state and federal law and the law of foreign countries for students abroad, may be investigated and addressed under the Code of Student Conduct. When an offense occurs over which Tacoma Community College has jurisdiction, the Tacoma Community College student conduct process will usually go forward notwithstanding any criminal complaint that may arise from the same incident.
Rules for Student Conduct:
Core Values and Behavioral Expectations
Tacoma Community College considers the behavior described in the following sub-sections as inappropriate for the Tacoma Community College community and in opposition to our core values. These expectations and rules apply to all students. Tacoma Community College encourages members of the TCC community to report to Tacoma Community College officials all incidents that involve the following actions. Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the sanctions outlined in Part 2 of this document.
Integrity: Tacoma Community College students exemplify honesty, honor, and a respect for the truth in all of their dealings. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:
- Falsification. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification. Knowingly furnishing or possessing false, falsified or forged materials, documents, accounts, records, identification, or financial instruments. Misrepresenting identity online, or in a virtual conferencing platform.
- Academic dishonesty. Acts of academic dishonesty as outlined in WAC 132V-121-060 (1), TCC's Academic Dishonesty Policy .
Unauthorized access. Unauthorized access to any Tacoma Community College premises (i.e. keys, cards, etc.) or unauthorized possession, duplication or use of means of access to any Tacoma Community College premises, or failing to timely report a lost Tacoma Community College identification card or key. Entering private virtual conference meetings, such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, without permission
- Election tampering. Tampering with the election of any Tacoma Community College-recognized student organization;
- Taking of property. Knowingly and without permission taking or maintaining possession of tangible and intangible goods or information belonging to Tacoma Community College or another person or entity;
Community: Tacoma Community College students build and enhance their community. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:
- Disruptive behavior. Interfering with Tacoma Community College operations including obstruction of teaching, research, administration, other Tacoma Community College activities, and/or other authorized non-Tacoma Community College activities which occur on college premises or in online college spaces, such as virtual conferencing platforms;
- Rioting. Causing, inciting or participating in any disturbance that endangers the health, safety or welfare of self or others, or causes physical harm to others, or causes damage to or destruction of Tacoma Community College property or the property of another;
- Trademark violation. Non-permissive use (including misuse) of Tacoma Community College or organizational names and images;
- Damage and destruction. Intentional, reckless, and/or unauthorized damage to or destruction of Tacoma Community College premises, or the personal property or information of another;
- IT and acceptable use violation. Violating WAC 292-110-010 or TCC's Acceptable Use of Information Systems and Services Policy;
- Social Media violation. Misuse of TCC Social Media includes:
- Violation of student or organizational privacy and security, including FERPA.
- Use of derogatory or inflammatory remarks concerning any student or staff member’s race, age, disability, religion, ethnicity, national origin, physical attributes, sex, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, veteran/military status, or health condition.
- Use of threatening language or images.
- Use of copyrighted, trademarked, confidential, or proprietary information.
- Use of information for personal gain.
- Weapons Policy violation. Violating TCC's Weapons Free Policy (ADSV-222) ;
- Fire safety and emergency equipment. Violation of local, state, federal, or campus fire policies including, but not limited to:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire which damages Tacoma Community College or personal property or which causes injury.
- Failure to evacuate a Tacoma Community College-controlled building during a fire alarm;
- Improper use of Tacoma Community College fire safety equipment; or
- Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment while on Tacoma Community College property. Such action may result in a local fine in addition to Tacoma Community College sanctions;
- Service animals on Campus Policy violation. Violating TCC's Service Animals on Campus Policy (STSV-117) ;
- Use of Wheeled devices. Use of skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, bicycles, and similar wheeled devices are not permitted inside Tacoma Community College buildings.
Social Justice: Students recognize that respecting the dignity of every person is essential for creating and sustaining a flourishing college community. They understand and appreciate how their decisions and actions impact others and are just and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community. They act to discourage and challenge those whose actions may be harmful to and/or diminish the worth of others. Conduct that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:
- Discrimination. Unfavorable treatment of a person based on that person’s membership or perceived membership in a protected class. Harassment is a form of discrimination. TCC Non-discrimination and Harassment Policy (WAC 132V-305) ;
- Abuse of the student conduct process. Abuse or interference with, or failure to comply in, Tacoma Community College processes including but not limited to:
A. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information;
B. Failing to provide, destroying or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;
C. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the student conduct process;
D. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a campus conduct body prior to, during, and/or following a campus conduct proceeding;
E. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the student conduct process;
F. Influencing, or attempting to influence, another person to commit an abuse of the student conduct process.
Respect. Tacoma Community College students show positive regard for each other and for the community. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:
- Harm to persons. Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm or endangering the health, safety, or welfare of any person.
- Threatening behaviors:
A. Threat. Written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health, safety or welfare of any person or damage to any property.
B. Intimidation. Implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm to another.
- Bullying and cyberbullying. Repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors including verbal abuse that intimidate or intentionally harm another person physically or emotionally.
- Hazing. An act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that 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. Participation or cooperation by the person(s) being hazed does not excuse the violation. Failing to intervene to prevent and/or failing to discourage and/or failing to report those acts may also violate this policy. (See TCC's Hazing Policy (WAC 132V-130-010) ;
- Sexual violence. A type of sexual discrimination and harassment. Nonconsensual sexual intercourse, nonconsensual sexual contact, domestic violence, and dating violence are all types of sexual violence;
- Stalking. A pattern of unwanted behavior that is directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person alarm and/or fear;
- Harassment. A form of discrimination consisting of physical or verbal conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual because of their membership in a protected class or perceived membership in a protected class. See TCC's Nondiscrimination and Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedure (WAC 132V-305) ;
- Public exposure. Includes deliberately and publicly exposing one’s intimate body parts, public urination, defecation, and public sex acts.
Responsibility. Tacoma Community College students are given and accept a high level of responsibility to self, to others and to the community. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:
- Alcohol Policy violation. Being under the influence, use, possession, manufacturing or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by law. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstances, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one years of age.
- Tobacco Policy violation. Violating TCC's Tobacco and Smoke Free Policy (ADSV-623) ;
- Cannabis Policy violation. Recreational use of Cannabis and cannabis products, including being under the influence, possession, manufacturing, or distribution is prohibited. Cannabis and cannabis products may not, in any circumstances, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one years of age.
- Drugs. Being under the influence, use, possession, manufacturing or distribution of heroin, narcotics or other controlled substances, or associated paraphernalia (pursuant to RCW 69.50.102).
- Failure to comply. Failure to comply with the reasonable directives of Tacoma Community College officials or public safety officers during the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so;
- Financial responsibilities violation. Failure to promptly meet financial responsibilities to the institution, including, but not limited to; knowingly passing an invalid check or money order in payment to the institution or to an official of the institution acting in an official capacity.
- Health and safety violation. Creation of health and/or safety hazards (dangerous pranks, hanging out of or climbing from/on/in windows, balconies, roofs, etc.)
- Violating other policies. Violating Tacoma Community College policies or rules.
The definitions and phrases in this section apply throughout this code.
Agreement of accountability means a written mutual agreement between the student respondent and student conduct administrator which states a respondent’s violations of the Code of Student Conduct and the resolutions and sanction(s).
Brief Adjudicative Proceeding is a process whereby an informal hearing is conducted by a conduct review official when an initial decision of the student conduct administrator is appealed by the student.
Business day means any calendar day, exclusive of weekends and federal and school holidays, in which the college is open to the public for conducting business.
College employee includes any person working for the college with the knowledge and approval of a college official, whether a W-2 employee, 1099 independent contractor, or volunteer.
College official includes any college employee performing assigned administrative, or professional responsibilities.
College premises includes all land, buildings, facilities and other property in the possession of or owned, used, controlled, or leased/rented by the college, and agencies or institutions that have educational and residential agreements with the college, extending to associated electronic communication including web sites and distance learning classroom environments. College premises also includes college websites, data bases, and servers that contain or are comprised of electronically stored information belonging to the college.
Complainant means any person, group or entity that submits a complaint alleging that a student or student organization violated the Code of Student Conduct.
Complaint means a report received by the student conduct administrator or Campus Public Safety that alleges a student or student organization violated the Code of Student Conduct.
Conduct conference means a meeting or series of meetings held between a respondent and the student conduct administrator in which the respondent is advised of their rights and responsibilities, and there is a review of the complaint and alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct. In the course of conduct conferences, the student conduct administrator may speak with other people about and investigate the allegations. Agreements of accountability may be discussed in a conduct conference.
Conduct hold means a block prohibiting the student from registering for classes until they receive clearance from the student conduct administrator.
Conduct review official is a college administrator designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs to be responsible for receiving and reviewing or referring appeals of student disciplinary actions in accordance with the procedures of the Code of Student Conduct.
Controlled substance means and includes any drug or substance as defined in Chapter 69.50 RCW.
Determination of responsibility means a decision made in accordance with the procedures of the Code of Student Conduct as to whether a respondent is responsible for violating the Code, including required resolution and/or sanctions.
Disciplinary action is the process by which a respondent receives sanctions for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
Disciplinary appeal is the process by which a respondent can challenge the sanctions imposed by the student conduct administrator. The process will depend on the nature of the sanctions.
Faculty member means any college employee responsible for conducting classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the college to be a member of its faculty.
Filing is the process by which a document is delivered to a college official responsible for conducting or facilitating processes identified in this Code of Student Conduct. Unless otherwise provided, filing is accomplished by:
- Hand delivery of the document to the Vice President for Student Affairs or the VPSA's assistant; or
- By sending the document by both email and first class mail to the Vice President for Student Affair’s college email address and office address.
The document required to be filed will be considered filed upon actual receipt on a business day between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the office of the specified college official.
Final determination means the college’s final action with regard to a complaint after all parties’ administrative appeal rights and remedies are waived or exhausted.
Member of the college community includes any person who is a student, faculty member, college employee, or volunteer. A volunteer is any person who does not receive compensation for services or work for and/or at the college. A person's status in a particular situation will be determined by the student conduct administrator.
Policy means a written standard of the college including those found in the Code of Student Conduct, the college website, the college catalog, the college administrative manual, individual requirements of a college official, college department or college office, a course syllabi or covenant; or as posted anywhere on college premises or at college-sponsored events or activities.
President is the president of Tacoma Community College. The president is authorized to delegate any and all responsibilities as set forth in the document as may be reasonably necessary.
RCW means Revised Code of Washington, which can be accessed at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/.
Respondent means any student or student organization that has been reported to have engaged in activity that constitutes a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
Service and Notice is the process by which a document is officially provided to a party to a proceeding authorized by this Code of Student Conduct. Unless otherwise provided, service is accomplished by verbal or written notice served to party’s TCC email or mailing addresses of record on file with the College’s registrar, and/or delivered in person. If verbal notice is given, written notice will be served on the party within two business days.
Service is deemed complete upon hand delivery of the document or upon the date the document is emailed and/or deposited in the mail. Students and student organizations have the responsibility to notify the registrar of any changes to their TCC email or mailing addresses.
Social Media refers to any online accounts or technology that enables digital interactions to happen. This includes, but is not limited to, the following platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, podcasts, Wikis, The Challenge online comments and other Internet-based platforms.
Student means any person who is admitted to, or enrolled for classes through the college, including any person in affiliated distance learning courses, non-credit continuing education courses, and courses offered by other institutions through an agreement with the college. Admitted or enrolled students who graduate, withdraw or do not register for classes after allegedly violating the Code of Student Conduct are considered students, as is any person enrolled at the college in a prior quarter and eligible to continue enrollment in the quarter that immediately follows.
Student conduct administrator means a college employee authorized by the Vice President for Student Affairs to impose sanctions on any student or student organization found to have violated the Code of Student Conduct. Their duties include but are not limited to entering into agreements of accountability, investigating complaints, and issuing findings of responsibility and/or disciplinary sanctions.
Student conduct appeals board means members of the college community authorized by the Vice President for Student Affairs to hear an appeal by a student or student organization of a student conduct administrator's determination and imposed sanctions for an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
Student organization means any group, comprised of students, that purports to be affiliated with the college, including groups which have complied with the formal requirements for college recognition and is an officially recognized college organization. A group's status in a particular situation will be determined by the conduct review official or designee.
Video Conferencing Platform refers to any program, platform or service where staff, faculty, and students meet virtually, including Canvas Conferencing, Zoom, Panopto, and Microsoft Teams.
Visitors means guests, applicants, contractors, vendors, advisory board members, foundation board members, and members of the public on college premises.
WAC means Washington Administrative Code, which can be accessed at http://app.leg.wa.gov/wac/.
Student Conduct Procedures Overview
Any visitor or member of the college community may make a complaint against a student or student organization for violation of the Code of Student Conduct by contacting campus public safety and/or the student conduct administrator. Once a complaint is received, the student conduct administrator will proceed with an initial inquiry and/or will schedule a conduct conference with the respondent.
It should be noted that not all situations are of the same severity or complexity. These procedures are flexible and are not exactly the same in every situation, though consistency in similar situations is a priority.
The student conduct administrator will conduct an initial inquiry into the nature of the incident, complaint, or notice, the evidence available and the parties involved. The initial inquiry may lead to:
- A determination that there is insufficient evidence to establish a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
- An investigation to gather more information.
- A conduct conference with the respondent.
Timelines may vary from case to case.
Initiation of Conduct Conference
A conduct conference is a meeting or series of meetings held between a respondent and the student conduct administrator. The student conduct administrator will explain the conduct process, advise the respondent of their rights and responsibilities, and review the complaint and alleged violation(s) of the Code of Student Conduct.
- The respondent will meet with the student conduct administrator for a conduct conference as directed in a written notice. The notice will briefly describe the allegations and the provision(s) of the Code of Student Conduct the respondent is alleged to have violated. The notice will include the time, date, and location of the conduct conference.
- At the conduct conference, the student conduct administrator will describe the allegations to the respondent, and the respondent will have an opportunity to explain what happened. If the respondent fails to attend the conference, the student conduct administrator will determine responsibility and required resolution and sanction(s) in the respondent’s absence.
- If there is more than one respondent involved in the complaint, the student conduct administrator, at their discretion, may conduct the conferences concerning each respondent separately or jointly.
- The student conduct administrator may also investigate the allegations and seek additional information from other persons with information relevant to the complaint.
- At the conclusion of a conduct conference, the student conduct administrator may dismiss the matter, or effect an informal resolution and enter into an agreement of accountability.
Informal Resolution and Agreement of Accountability
The student conduct administrator may attempt to resolve a complaint informally by using an agreement of accountability.
- The student conduct administrator will work with any respondent who accepts responsibility for engaging in prohibited conduct to identify a resolution and/or sanction(s). If an agreement is reached, the resolution and/or sanction(s) will be put into a written agreement of accountability signed by both the respondent and the student conduct administrator.
- A respondent who signs an agreement of accountability will comply with the resolution and/or sanction(s) in the agreement and will have no further right of appeal. A respondent’s failure to comply with the agreement of accountability may be the basis for a separate violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Any new violation will be addressed by initiating a separate conduct conference.
Notice of Determination of Responsibility and Required Resolution and Sanctions
If a complaint is not resolved by entering into an agreement of accountability, the student conduct administrator will issue a determination of responsibility based on a preponderance of the evidence standard. Preponderance of the evidence means it is more likely than not that a violation of the Code of Student Conduct did or did not occur.
The student conduct administrator may:
- Determine the respondent is not responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct and end the conduct proceedings;
- Determine the available information is inconclusive; and the student conduct administrator may revisit the determination if additional relevant information becomes available; or
- Determine the respondent is responsible for violation of the Code of Student Conduct and issue required resolution(s) and/or sanction(s), and the determination of responsibility will identify the specific conduct that has violated the Code of Student Conduct
Resolutions and Sanctions
The following resolutions and sanctions may be agreed to by, or required of, a respondent found to have violated the Code of Student Conduct. More than one resolution and/or sanction may be imposed for any single violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Resolution and sanctions are based on the unique aspects of each situation and take into consideration the context and seriousness of the violation. In determining the resolution and/or sanction(s), the student conduct administrator, any conduct review official, student conduct appeal board, and the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee acting in an appellate capacity will consider history, patterns, and frequency of misconduct; severity and level of impact on the community; and a student’s motivation and response to the allegations.
The following are resolution/sanction options:
- Disciplinary warning: This is written notice that the student has violated one or more provisions of the Code of Student Conduct and that continuation of the same or similar behavior may result in more severe sanctions.
- Educational actions: The College may require the student to complete an educational activity or experience directly related to the violation committed, at the student’s expense. This includes, but is not limited to, work assignments, essays, completion of a workshop or training or service to the college community.
- Disciplinary probation: Special student status with conditions imposed for a defined period of time, up to and including duration of enrollment at the college. This includes the probability of more severe required resolutions and/or sanctions if the student is found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct during the probationary period.
- Loss of privileges: Restrictions on the following:
A. Attendance at college-sponsored activities or events
B. Ability to hold student office or leadership position on campus
C. Access to college premises
D. Participation in co-curricular activities
E. Participation in study abroad programs
F. Student employment
G. Use of college equipment
5. Restitution: Reimbursement for loss or damage to property or for injury to persons. This may take the form of appropriate service, monetary or material replacement, or a combination of both.
6. No contact order: An order directing a student to have no contact with a specific member or members of the college community. The order may include, but is not limited to, directives with regard to path of travel, parking, arrival on campus, or specified times for use of campus resources.
7. Disciplinary suspension: Separation of the student from the college for a specified period of time, after which the student is eligible to return, provided the student has complied with all conditions imposed as part of the disciplinary suspension and the student is otherwise qualified for enrollment. There will be no refund of tuition or fees for the quarter the sanction takes effect. The student is trespassed from college premises for the duration of the disciplinary suspension.
8. College expulsion: Permanent separation of the student from the college. This includes revocation of all rights and privileges of membership in the college community and trespass from college premises without any possibility of return. There will be no refund of tuition or fees for the quarter the sanction takes effect.
9. Professional evaluation: Referral for drug, alcohol, psychological or medical evaluation by an appropriately certified or licensed professional. The student may choose the professional within the scope of practice and professional credentials as defined by the college. The student will sign all necessary releases to allow the college to provide student education records to the evaluator, and the evaluator to provide the college with copies of the evaluator’s notes and testing results, and recommendations. The student’s return to the college may be conditioned upon compliance with the recommendations set forth in the evaluation. If the evaluation indicates the student presents a danger to members of the campus community, or is not capable of functioning within the college community, the student will not be allowed to enroll until a subsequent evaluation recommends that the student is capable of re-entering the college and complying with the standards of conduct.
10. Emergency contact or parental notification: In cases of expulsion or significant health or safety concerns, the parent or emergency contact may be contacted to inform them of the expulsion or health and safety concern.
- Interim restrictions. The student conduct administrator, student conduct official, student conduct appeal board, and the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee are each authorized to institute interim restrictions prior to, or at any stage during, a student conduct proceeding when they deem the physical or mental safety of any member of the college community to be at risk. The interim restriction may include a no contact order and/or loss of privileges.
- A student issued an interim restriction that includes loss of privileges will receive written notice of the interim restriction, the reason for instituting an interim restriction, and advised of the date, time and place for a hearing regarding the interim restriction before the conduct review official, or their designee. The hearing will take place no later than five business days from the effective date of the interim restriction.
- The interim restriction will remain in place during the student conduct proceeding until an agreement of accountability exists, a student conduct administrator issues a determination of responsibility, a final determination is issued, or the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee notifies the respondent in writing that the interim restriction has been modified or is no longer in effect.
2. Interim suspension. This is a temporary exclusion from college premises or denial of access to all activities or privileges for which a respondent might otherwise be eligible, including enrollment, while a student conduct proceeding is pending. The Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee may impose an interim suspension if there is probable cause to believe that the respondent has violated any provision of the Code and presents a substantial or ongoing danger to the physical or mental safety of any member of the college community; or poses an ongoing threat of substantial disruption of, or interference with, teaching, learning or the operations of the college.
- Any student assigned an interim suspension will be served with oral or written notice of the interim suspension. If oral notice is given, a written notification will be served on the respondent within two business days of the oral notice.
- The written notification will be entitled “Notice of Interim Suspension” and will
- The reasons for imposing the interim suspension, including a description of the conduct giving rise to the interim suspension and reference to the provisions of the Code allegedly violated;
- The date, time, and location when the respondent must appear before the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee for a hearing on the interim suspension; and
- The conditions, if any, under which the respondent may physically access the campus or communicate with members of the campus community. If the respondent has been barred from the campus, a notice will be included that warns the student that their privilege to enter into or remain on college premises has been withdrawn, and that the respondent will be considered trespassing if the respondent enters the college campus other than as approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee.
c. The Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee will conduct a hearing on the interim suspension within five business days after imposition of the interim suspension.
d. During the interim suspension hearing, the issue before the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee is whether there is reasonable grounds to believe that the interim suspension should be continued pending the conclusion of student conduct proceedings and/or whether the interim suspension should be less restrictive in scope.
e. The student will be afforded an opportunity to explain why interim suspension should not be continued while conduct proceedings are pending or why the interim suspension should be less restrictive in scope.
f. If the student fails to appear at the designated hearing time, the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee may order that the interim suspension remain in place pending the conclusion of the conduct proceedings.
g. As soon as practicable following the hearing, the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee will issue a written decision which will include a brief explanation for any decision continuing and/or modifying the interim suspension.
h. To the extent permissible under applicable law, the Vice President for Student Affairs or their designee will provide a copy of the decision to all persons or offices who may be bound or protected by it.
i. In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the complainant will be notified that an interim suspension has been imposed on the same day that the interim suspension notice is served on the student. The College will also provide the complainant with same day notice of any subsequent changes to the interim suspension order.
Appeals of Student Conduct Decisions
A respondent may appeal a student conduct administrator’s decision by filing a written notice of appeal with the Vice President for Student Affairs within ten business days of service of the student conduct administrator’s decision. Respondents who fail to file an appeal within the ten-day time period will be considered to have waived the right to appeal, and the student conduct administrator’s decision will be the college’s final determination.
The grounds for appeal are limited to:
- New information not available at the time of the initial proceeding
- Procedural error that impacted the outcome of the process
- Disproportionate sanction(s), and/or
- Bias of the student conduct administrator
The student filing the appeal must include a brief statement explaining on what grounds they are appealing and why.
Except in cases of an interim suspension, the required resolution(s) and/or sanction(s) will be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.
The parties to an appeal will be the student respondent and the student conduct administrator.
The student has the right to a prompt and fair appeal hearing.
Except as specified in the Code, including the section relating to Brief Adjudicative Proceedings, appeals of the student conduct administrator’s determination of responsibility and sanctions will be accomplished by a hearing before the student conduct appeal board.
Disciplinary warnings and findings of no responsibility are final and not subject to appeal, except that in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the complainant has the right to appeal the following actions by the student conduct administrator following the same procedures as set forth for the respondent:
- The determination of responsibility
- Any resolution(s) and/or sanction(s) imposed on the respondent, including a written warning.
If the respondent appeals a decision imposing discipline for a sexual misconduct violation, the college will notify the complainant of the appeal and provide the complainant an opportunity to participate in the appeal process.
Brief Adjudicative Proceedings
This rule is adopted in accordance with RCW 34.05.482 through 34.05.494. Brief adjudicative proceedings are conducted by a conduct review official who is designated by the Vice President of Student Affairs. A conduct review official may not participate in any case in which they are or have been involved; or in any case in which they have direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias.
- Brief adjudicative proceedings shall be used, unless provided otherwise by another
rule or determined otherwise in a particular case by the Vice President for Student
Affairs or their designee, in regard to violations of the code of student conduct’s
rules for student conduct and:
- suspensions of ten (10) instructional days or less;
- disciplinary probation;
- written reprimands;
- any conditions or terms imposed in conjunction with one of the foregoing disciplinary actions; and
- appeals by a complainant in student disciplinary proceedings involving allegations of sexual misconduct in which the student conduct officer (i) dismisses disciplinary proceedings based upon a finding that the allegations of sexual misconduct have no merit; or (ii) issues a verbal warning to respondent.
2. The parties to a brief adjudicative proceeding (BAP) are the respondent, the student conduct administrator and, in cases involving sexual misconduct, the complainant.
3. Before taking action, the conduct review official will conduct an informal meeting or telephone call with each party to give them an opportunity to explain their view of the matter.
4. The conduct review official will schedule the informal hearing and serve notice of the hearing to all parties at least seven business days in advance of the hearing. The notice will include the date, time, and location of the hearing; a date by which parties must identify an advisor (if they choose to have one) as well as request reasonable accommodations, if any; a date on which the respondent may review documents held by the student conduct administrator; and a date by which the parties must provide a list of witnesses and copies of any additional documents to other parties and to the conduct review official.
5. The conduct review official will serve their decision upon the parties within ten business days of the completion of the informal hearing. The initial decision will contain a brief written statement of the factual basis for the decision and the conclusions regarding which, if any, provisions of the Code of Student Conduct were violated; as well as information about how to appeal the conduct review official’s decision.
6. If no appeal is filed within ten business days of service of the conduct review official’s decision, it will be deemed to be the college’s final determination.
The conduct review official has the discretion to refer the matter to the Student Conduct Appeals Board if they determine that the parties may benefit from a greater measure of due process; or that the respondent’s conduct may warrant imposition of a disciplinary suspension of more than ten (10) instructional days or expulsion.
Appeal of Brief Adjudicative Proceeding Initial Decision
A brief adjudicative proceeding initial decision may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee, provided an appeal is submitted within ten business days of the service of the conduct review official’s decision. The appeal must be in writing and specify the grounds for appeal of the conduct review official’s decision. The grounds for appeal are limited to new information not available at the time of the initial proceeding, procedural error that impacted the outcome of the process, disproportionate sanction(s) and/or bias of the conduct review official.
The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may not participate in any case in which they are or have been involved or in which there is direct or personal interest, prejudice, or bias.
The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will give the parties an opportunity to file written statements explaining their view of the matter and will make any inquiries necessary to determine whether sanctions should be modified or whether the matter should be referred to the student conduct appeal board for a hearing. The decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee must be in writing and will include a brief statement of the reason for the decision. The decision must be served on the parties within twenty business days of the request for appeal.
- If the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee determines that the respondent’s conduct may warrant a disciplinary suspension of more than ten days or expulsion, the matter will be referred to the student conduct appeal board for a hearing.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will, on the same date as the final decision is served on the respondent, serve a written notice upon the complainant informing them whether the allegations of sexual misconduct were found to have merit and describing any resolutions and/or sanction(s) imposed on the respondent, including suspension or expulsion.
- Except in the event of a referral to the Student Conduct Appeals Board, the decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will be the college’s final determination and will include a statement that it can be appealed in the form of a Petition for Judicial Review filed in the Superior Court of Pierce County, Washington.
Student Conduct Appeals Board Hearing Procedures
- The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will appoint members to and schedule a hearing before the student conduct appeals board and serve written notice of the hearing to the parties at least ten business days in advance of the hearing. If not addressed in the Code of Student Conduct, the proceedings of the student conduct appeals board will be governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, RCW 34.05. The notice period may be shortened with both parties’ written permission (via email, email attachment or hard copy sent to the Vice President for Student Affairs) and may be rescheduled to a later time for good cause.
- The hearing notice will include:
- The date, time, and location of the hearing.
- The date by which the parties must identify advisors as well as requests for reasonable accommodations, if any.
- The date by which the parties must provide a list of witnesses and copies of any additional documents to be provided to the student conduct appeal board at the hearing. The date for providing documents must be at least five business days prior to the hearing date. Documents and witness names submitted after the deadline stated in the hearing notice will be admitted at the discretion of the appeal student conduct appeal board chair. Documents and witness names submitted after the deadline may be excluded from the hearing absent a show of good cause.
- The date by which the parties to the appeal may review documents and witness lists submitted to the student conduct appeal board, which must be no less than three business days prior to the hearing.
3. For good cause, and on their own or at a parties’ request, the student conduct appeals board chair may make determinations regarding continuances, release of information, and other procedural matters.
4. Immediately upon receiving the hearing notice, but at least five days before the hearing, the student conduct administrator will provide to the student conduct appeals board members in advance of the hearing copies of:
- The student conduct administrator’s determination of responsibility and required resolutions and/or sanction(s);
- The decision of the student conduct review officer, if any;
- The review of the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee, if any;
- The notice of appeal by the respondent or complainant.
5. The parties may agree before the hearing to designate specific exhibits as admissible without objection and, if they do so, the student conduct appeals board chair may provide copies of these admissible exhibits to the student conduct appeals board members before the hearing.
6. Only those materials and information presented at the hearing will be considered by the student conduct appeals board, which may exclude or limit irrelevant or unduly repetitious information.
7. The student conduct administrator will provide all relevant materials and information that is within the college’s control.
8. Communication between student conduct appeals board members and hearing participants regarding any issue in the proceeding, other than procedural communications that are necessary to maintain an orderly process, are generally prohibited without notice and opportunity for all parties to participate.
9. Each party may be accompanied at the hearing by an advisor (non-attorney assistant) of the party’s choice. A respondent or complainant, in a case involving allegations of sexual misconduct, may elect to be represented by an attorney at their own cost, and will be deemed to have waived that right unless, at least five business days before the hearing, written notice of the attorney’s identity and participation is filed with the student conduct appeals board chair with a copy to the student conduct administrator. The student conduct appeals board will ordinarily be advised by an assistant attorney general. If the respondent or the complainant is represented by an attorney, the student conduct administrator may also be represented by a second assistant attorney general.
10. Each party is expected to present all information during the proceedings. In cases where the complaint alleges sexual misconduct, the complainant may present information during the proceedings.
11. If any party fails to attend or participate in the hearing, the student conduct appeals board may proceed with the hearing and issue a decision.
12. The hearing is a closed proceeding and includes only members of the student conduct appeals board; the advisor to the student conduct appeals board, if any; the student conduct administrator and their advisor, if any; the complainant and the respondent and their advisor(s), if any; and persons requested to provide information at the hearing. Admission of any other person to the hearing is at the discretion of the student conduct appeals board chair.
13. The student conduct appeals board chair will ensure the proceeding is held in an orderly manner such that the rights of all parties to a full, fair, and impartial proceeding is achieved.
14. There will be a single, verbatim sound recording of the hearing, and the record will be kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and is the property of the college.
15. All testimony will be given under oath or affirmation.
16. In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, neither party will directly question the other. Attorneys for the parties, if any, are also prohibited from questioning the other party. All questions will be directed to the student conduct appeals board chair who, at their discretion, may pose questions on the party’s behalf.
Student Conduct Appeals Board
- The Student Conduct Appeals Board is composed of three members: one faculty member; one staff member; and one student. One member will be designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee to serve as the chair of the student conduct appeals board hearing.
- The faculty union will be asked to designate faculty to serve on the student conduct appeals board as needed. If the faculty union is asked to designate faculty and has not designated a faculty member to serve at least five calendar days prior to the student conduct appeals board hearing, the Vice President for Student Affairs may appoint a faculty member who is willing to serve,
- The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee is responsible for designating the student and staff members of the student conduct appeals board.
- Members of the student conduct appeals board will not participate in any case in which they have been involved as a complainant or a witness; or in which there is direct or personal interest, bias or prejudice.
Student Conduct Appeals Board Decisions
- Before the conclusion of the hearing, the student conduct appeals board will permit the parties to make closing statements. The student conduct appeals board may also permit each party to propose decisions for its consideration.
- Only members of the student conduct appeals board and the advisor to the student conduct appeal board, if any, will be present for deliberations. Deliberations are not recorded.
- Within 15 business days following the conclusion of the hearing, the student conduct appeal board will issue a decision. The decision will include findings of fact and conclusions, including the provisions of the Code of Student Conduct that were violated (if any).
- The student conduct appeals board’s decision will also include a decision on appropriate resolutions or sanctions, if any. The student conduct appeals board may affirm, reverse, or modify the previous sanctions issued in the student conduct proceedings, and may issue additional sanctions or conditions.
- The student conduct appeals board chair will serve copies of the decision on the parties through the Vice President for Student Affairs office. It is the responsibility of the student to forward any communication to their advisor. If a student signs a release of information form, the student conduct appeals board chair will provide the decision to an attorney representing the student.
- The student conduct appeals board’s decision will provide information regarding the parties’ rights to and processes for reconsideration and appeal, including that a party may request the student conduct appeals board to reconsider all or part of its decision. The request for reconsideration must be filed within five business days of the decision, and include new information not available at the time of the hearing; procedural error that impacted the outcome of the process; bias on the part of a student conduct appeals board member; or disproportionate sanction. If no motion for reconsideration if filed, the student conduct appeals board’s decision becomes the college’s final determination and will include a statement that it can be appealed in the form of a Petition for Judicial Review filed in the Superior Court of Pierce County, Washington.
- In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the chair of the student conduct appeals board, on the same date as the decision is served to the respondent, will serve a written notice to the complainant informing the complainant of the student conduct appeals board’s decision and describing any sanctions or conditions issued to the respondent for the complainant’s protection, including disciplinary suspension of the respondent. The complainant may request reconsideration of the student conduct appeals board’s decision subject to the same procedures applicable to other parties.