Student Conduct Process and Procedures
Any member (students, faculty or staff) of Grand Rapids Community College may file charges against a student for violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
The Student Conduct Administrator (or designee) handles matters that require disciplinary action at Grand Rapids Community College. When a student has been charged with misconduct or an infraction of the College rules, the student will be notified of the charges in writing. If the charges involve Sexual Misconduct (which includes dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and harassment), the student will also be provided the Sexual Misconduct Policy. If there are any procedural discrepancies found between this document and that policy, the process will follow that which is listed in the Sexual Misconduct Policy. Following notification, the Student Conduct Administrator will meet with the student charged. Meetings shall not be open to the public , but the student may have an advisor present during this conference. If there is more than one accused student in the case, it is within the discretion of the Student Conduct Administrator to conduct the meeting(s) either separately or jointly.
The standard used to determine code violations is more likely than not that the Accused Student violated the Student code. If a student and/or group or organization is found responsible for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Student Conduct Administrator shall determine the sanction(s) to be imposed. The student and/or group or organization (and a complainant who believes s/he was the victim of another student’s conduct) will receive the determination and sanction(s) imposed, if any, in writing.
Pending action on the charges, the status of a student will not be altered, nor will his/her right to be present on the campus and to attend classes be suspended, except for reasons relating to a second classroom misconduct removal or the safety and/or well-being of other GRCC students, employees or property. The Student Conduct Administrator will make the decision to suspend with regard to safety or property (as defined herein).
The College seeks to foster an environment in which all employees and students feel free to report incidents of misconduct without fear of retaliation or reprisal. Therefore, the College strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual for filing a complaint or for participating in an investigation. Retaliatory conduct is illegal and constitutes a violation of this code.
All allegations of retaliation will be swiftly and thoroughly investigated. If it is determined that retaliation has occurred, the College will take all reasonable steps within its power to stop such conduct. Individuals who engage in retaliatory conduct are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion.
Any student or employee who believes that he or she has been harassed or retaliated against in violation of this policy should immediately report such incidents to a Conduct Administrator.
The following sanctions/consequences may be imposed by the College for general misconduct:
- Verbal warning
- Written warning
- Probation – A period of observation and review of conduct during which the student or recognized Student Organization must demonstrate compliance with College standards. Terms of this probationary period will be determined at the time probation is imposed.
- Permanent removal from a course
- Restitution – Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
- Suspension – The student or recognized Student Organization has temporary loss of student status for a specified length of time.
- Permanent Expulsion – Is an act of terminating a student’s enrollment at GRCC. This means the student may no longer participate in any GRCC activity or be on GRCC property owned, operated, leased, or maintained for any purpose.
- Other Sanctions – Other sanctions may be imposed instead of, or in addition to, specific sanctions listed in this section. These may include, but are not limited to: recommendations for counseling, establishment of mandatory behavior conditions/contract-signing stating agreed-upon behavior expectations for continued enrollment or reenrollment; loss of access to college computers and/or network; a specific project designed to assist the student in better understanding the overall impact of his or her behavioral infraction; a contract of terms for restitution of damages/stolen property before enrollment is continued and/or records are released. Suspension without pay from his or her on campus job; prohibit participation in extracurricular activities or interscholastic or leadership positions, or community service.
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree – Admission to or a degree awarded from Grand Rapids Community College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of GRCC standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
- Withholding Degree – GRCC may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.
- More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
- Sanctions of suspension, expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree will become a permanent part of a student’s record. Cases that result in all other sanctions will be maintained for seven years.
- In situations involving both an accused student (or group or organization) and a student(s) claiming to be a victim of another student’s conduct, the records of the process and of the sanctions imposed, if any, shall be considered to be the education records of both the Accused Student(s) and the student(s) claiming to be the victim.
The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
a.Those sanctions listed above (a-j).
b.Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.
c.Loss of Recognition– GRCC student organizations may lose recognition and will be deprived of the use of College resources, the use of the College’s name, and the right to participate in College or campus-sponsored activities. This loss of recognition may be for a specific period of time or for an indefinite period of time until stated all conditions are met.
In certain circumstances, the Student Conduct Administrator (or designee) may impose a suspension prior to the conduct process.
a.Interim suspension may be imposed only to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the GRCC community or preservation of GRCC property or if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the college.
b.During the interim suspension, a student shall be denied access to the campus (including classes) as determined by the Student Conduct Administrator.
c.Interim suspension does not replace the regular process, which shall proceed on the normal schedule.
Amnesty for Reports of Sexual Misconduct:
a. For Victims:
The College provides amnesty to victims who may be hesitant to report to College officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of minor policy violations, such as underage drinking, at the time of the incident. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
b. For Those Who Offer Assistance:
To encourage students to offer help and assistance to others, College pursues a policy of amnesty for minor violations when students offer help to others in need. At the discretion of the Director of Student Life and Conduct, amnesty may also be extended on a case-by-case basis to the person receiving assistance. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or conduct record will result.
c. For Those Who Report Serious Violations:
Students who are engaged in minor violations but who choose to bring related serious violations by others to the attention of the College are offered amnesty for their minor violations. Educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or record will result.
Abuse of amnesty requests can result in a decision by the Director of Student Life and Conduct not to extend amnesty to the same person repeatedly.
d. Safe Harbor:
The College has a Safe Harbor rule for students. The College believes that students who have a drug and/or addiction problem deserve help. If any College student brings their own use, addiction, or dependency to the attention of College officials outside the threat of drug tests or conduct sanctions and seeks assistance, a conduct complaint will not be pursued. A written action plan may be used to track cooperation with the Safe Harbor program by the student. Failure to follow the action plan will nullify the Safe Harbor protection and campus conduct processes will be initiated.
Requesting a hearing
If a student disagrees with the decision reached by the Student Conduct Administrator (or designee) or with the sanction imposed, the Accused Student(s) or Complainant(s) may request a Hearing before a hearing committee. If appealing a decision that resulted in a warning only, the case is only eligible for a review of written documentation by the Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) as described in the Final Appeal process. The Hearing Committee process will not be invoked.
Process for Requesting a Hearing: The request for the hearing must be made in writing within five (5) business days following the Student Conduct Administrator (or designee’s) written notification of conduct decision to the student.
Hearing Committee Make-up
The Hearing Committee will consist of three(3) people selected from a pool of trained hearing members appointed by the Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs .
Notice of Hearing
The Accused Student(s) and the Complainant(s) shall be given written notice of the time, date and place of the hearing, the reason for the assigned sanction, a list of potential witnesses, unless to do so would compromise their safety, and notice of the nature of the evidence.
The hearing must begin within ten (10) business days of the student’s request and proceed as promptly as possible. (Upon mutual agreement between the student and the College, the timeline may extend past the ten days.) The Accused Student(s) and the Complainant(s) may attend the hearing, present evidence and witnesses, and hear witnesses. Questions to witnesses may be directed through the hearing committee Chair.
Rules and Regulations
- For the Hearing, students are entitled to be accompanied by one advisor. The advisor may be an individual of the student’s choice. The student may choose to have an attorney as his/her advisor but it shall be at his/her expense, and provided that at least 24 hours’ prior written notification is delivered to the Hearing Committee Chairperson.
- The student’s attorney or advisor shall have no role at the Hearing other than to advise the student. The advisor shall not be permitted to ask or answer questions or to make oral arguments or otherwise disrupt or delay the hearing.
- Questions from the student(s) to witnesses or to other students will be directed through the Hearing Committee Chairperson. The student’s unwillingness to answer questions regarding the incident will not be held against the student.
- There shall be a single recording of the hearing, which shall be property of GRCC, and will be retained until the appeal procedures have been completed. No other recording devices will be allowed. Deliberations shall not be recorded.
- A campus police officer will attend the hearing.
- Unless the law requires, the hearings are not open to the public.
Special Hearing Provisions for Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Other Complaints of a Sensitive Nature
For sexual misconduct, discrimination and other complaints of a sensitive nature, whether the alleged victim is serving as the party bringing the complaint or as a witness, alternative testimony options may be provided, such as placing a privacy screen in the hearing room or allowing the alleged victim to testify from another room via audio or audio/video technology. While these options are intended to help make the alleged victim more comfortable, they are not intended to work to the disadvantage of the responding student.
The past sexual history or sexual character of a party will not be admissible by the other parties in hearings unless such information is determined to be highly relevant by the panel Chair. All such information sought to be admitted by a party or the College will be presumed irrelevant until a showing of relevance is made, in advance of the hearing, to the Chair. Demonstration of pattern, repeated, and/or predatory behavior by the responding student, in the form of previous findings in any legal or campus proceeding, [or in the form of previous good faith allegations], will always be relevant to the finding, not just the sanction. The parties will be notified in advance if any such information is deemed relevant and will be introduced in the hearing.
The party bringing any complaint alleging sexual misconduct, other behavior falling within the coverage of Title IX and/or a crime of violence will be notified in writing of the outcome of a hearing, any sanctions assigned and the rationale for the decision.
The decision of the Hearing Committee will be based solely upon matters introduced into evidence during the Hearing. If the Accused Student(s) is found to be responsible for a code violation, the Committee will determine if the sanctions were appropriate for the violation. The committee may recommend it remain the same or lessen the sanction impact, but cannot assign a more significant sanction. A vote of two Committee members will be considered a majority decision and will be presented in writing to the student no later than ten (10) business days after the conclusion of the hearing.
The student may appeal the Hearing Committee’s decision in writing to the Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs within five (5) business days. This final level of appeal is a review of written documentation only. If it is not filed within this time, the student will forfeit his or her final appeal opportunity.
a.Appeal Procedures: All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. The written appeal must clearly explain, in detail, the basis for the appeal. Basis for the appeal must address one or more of the following, in detail,
i.Whether appropriate procedures were followed.
ii.Whether the sanctions imposed are appropriate, reasonable or just.
iii.Whether the decision was supported by evidence.
iv.Whether all relevant information was available at the time of the original hearing.
b.If the student fails to follow through with the above outlined process, the appeal opportunity will be forfeited.
c.Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Decision: After reviewing the Hearing Committee’s written decision, along with the written appeal from the student, the Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs shall have five (5) business days to render a written decision to the student. The Dean of Student Affairs decision shall be final, binding and mailed to the student by first-class mail.
Interpretation and Revision
- Any question of interpretation or application of the Student Code shall be referred to the Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs or his or her designee for final determination.
- The Student Code of Conduct shall be reviewed every three years under the direction of the Student Conduct Administrator.