Student Conduct

Code of Student Conduct

Wilkes Community College students are responsible for knowing the information, policies and procedures outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. The 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 this page for the updated versions of all policies and procedures.

Core Values of Student Conduct at Wilkes Community College

  1. Integrity: Students are expected to exemplify honesty, honor, and a respect for the truth in all of their dealings.
  2. Community: Students are expected to build and enhance their community. They should use available campus resources to resolve differences and conflicts peacefully.
  3. Social Justice: Students are expected to be just and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community and act to discourage and/or intervene to prevent unjust and inequitable behaviors.
  4. Respect: Students are expected to show positive regard for each other, for property and for the community.
  5. Responsibility: Students are expected to follow all college policies and take ownership of individual choices and any subsequent consequences.

MISSION STATEMENT

The purpose of the student conduct process at Wilkes Community College is to protect the interests of the community and to address those whose behavior is not in accordance with college policies. Sanctions are intended to challenge students’ moral and ethical decision-making and to help them bring their behavior into accord with community expectations. When a student is unable to conform their behavior to community expectations, the student conduct process may determine that the student should no longer share in the privilege of participating in this community.

Students should be aware that the student conduct process is different from criminal and civil court proceedings. Procedures and rights in student conduct procedures are conducted with fairness to all, but do not include the same protections of due process afforded by the courts. Due process, as defined within these procedures, assures written notice and a hearing before an objective decision maker. No student will be found in violation of college policy without information showing that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred and any sanctions will be proportionate to the severity of the violation and to the cumulative conduct history of the student.

A. DEFINITION OF TERMS

  1. The term College means Wilkes Community College (WCC).
  2. The term College Premises refers to all properties and facilities owned or leased by WCC and all off campus sites at which the college conducts classes, programs, services, or events.
  3. The term Community Member includes any person who is a student, faculty member, staff member, or any other person employed by the college.
  4. The term Reporting Party refers to the individual reporting a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
  5. The term Conduct Administrator refers to college officials who are authorized to determine whether a student has violated the Code of Conduct and to impose sanctions during a hearing.
  6. The term Conduct Hearing refers to a meeting between an accused student and a conduct administrator. The purpose of the hearing is to review the complaint and the results of an investigation. The student will be asked to respond to the allegations of misconduct and provided an opportunity to share additional information. Based on a preponderance of the evidence, the conduct administrator will determine if the student violated the Code of Conduct. If the student is found in violation, appropriate sanctions will be imposed.
  7. The term Preponderance of the Evidence is a standard of evidence which means that it is more likely than not or there is a greater than 50 percent chance that a conduct violation has occurred. This standard requires a much lower level of proof than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard used for criminal matters.
  8. The term Responding Party refers to the individual who is alleged to have committed a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
  9. The term Student includes anyone who has submitted an admission application and thereafter as long as the student has a continuing educational interest in the college. The term applies to all students, including basic skills, workforce development and community education, and curriculum.

B. JURISDICTION

WCC students are provided, via college email, a copy of the Code of Student Conduct each semester in the form of a link on the college website. Hard copies are available upon request from the Student Services Office or a conduct administrator. Students are responsible for reading and abiding by the provisions of the Code of Student Conduct. College email is the college’s primary means of communication with students. Students are responsible for all communication delivered to their college email address.

The Code of Student Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of all students, including curriculum, workforce development and community education, and basic skills, as well as all college affiliated student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, the college considers an individual to be a student when an admission application has been submitted and thereafter as long as the student has a continuing educational interest in the college.

The college retains conduct jurisdiction over students for any misconduct that occurred prior to a leave of absence, withdrawal, or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll (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 still enrolled but reported after the accused student has graduated, the college may invoke these procedures and should the former student be found responsible, the college may revoke that student’s degree.

The Code of Student Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on college premises and at college-sponsored events. Additionally, the Code of Student Conduct applies to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the college community and/or mission/interests of the college.

The Code of Student Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email or other electronic medium. Students also should be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online. The college does not regularly search for this information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of college officials. However, most online speech by students not involving college networks or technology will be protected as free expression and not subject to this Code, with two notable exceptions:

  1. Speech posted online that a reasonable person would view as intimidating, degrading, humiliating, undermining, or threatening;
  2. Speech posted online about the college or its community members that causes a significant on-campus disruption.

The Code of Student Conduct applies to guests of WCC community members whose hosts may be held accountable for the misconduct of their guests.

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 college officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations.

Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit the 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 a conduct administrator or campus police.

Campus police have the authority to temporarily remove any person from WCC property for engaging in criminal activities or violating WCC policies, including the Code of Student Conduct.

C. VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW

College conduct proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with behavior that potentially violates both criminal law and the Code of Student Conduct. Proceedings under the Code of Student Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of a conduct administrator.

Determinations made under the Code of Student Conduct are independent from any civil or criminal court outcomes related to the same incident.

D. RULES OF CONDUCT

The following section describes activities and/or behaviors that are prohibited by the college. Conduct administrators have the authority to take immediate action and begin disciplinary proceedings in response to violations of this Code of Conduct. Violation of one or more of the rules of conduct may result in one of the sanctions described in Section II of the Code of Student Conduct Procedure.

  1. Academic Dishonesty
    1. Cheating: Cheating is intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids, or other devices in any academic exercise. This definition includes unauthorized communication of information prior to and/or during an academic exercise and having other persons complete work or take tests.
    2. Fabrication and Falsification: Fabrication and falsification is the intentional and unauthorized alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification is a matter of altering information, while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise. Forgery and academic record tampering are included in this category.
    3. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the appropriation of another’s work and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work in one’s own written work offered for credit.
    4. Abuse of Academic Materials: Abuse of academic materials is intentionally or knowingly destroying, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other academic resource material, including equipment.
    5. Complicity in Academic Dishonesty: Being an accomplice is intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

    *See procedure 5.3.2.1 – Discipline and Appeal for Academic Violations

  2. Academic Disruption: Academic disruption is disruption or obstruction of teaching, administration, or other college functions.Note: The primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment rests with the faculty. Students who engage in behaviors which result in disruption of a class may be directed by the faculty member or college police to leave the class for the remainder of the class period. If a disruptive student refuses to leave when the faculty member tells him or her to do so, the faculty member should dismiss the class, leave the classroom, and call college police to remove the student.
  3. Unauthorized Occupation or Seizure: Unauthorized occupation or seizure is occupation or seizure in any manner of college property, a college facility, or any portion thereof for a use inconsistent with prescribed, customary, or authorized use.
  4. Gatherings and Assemblies: Gatherings or assemblies are considered a violation of the code of conduct when conducted in a manner which:
    1. threatens or causes injury to persons or property;
    2. interferes with free access to, ingress, or egress of college facilities;
    3. is harmful, obstructive, or disruptive to the educational process or institutional functions of the college

    Other violations include:

    1. holding rallies, demonstrations, or any other form of public gathering without prior approval of the college;
    2. remaining at the scene of such an assembly after being asked to leave by a representative of the college staff.

    *See policy/procedure 2.3.5 – Campus Free Speech, Distribution of Material and Assembly

  5. Abuse
    1. Verbal: Verbal Abuse is verbal abuse of any person on college premises or at college supervised functions, including actions which threaten or endanger the health or safety of any such persons.
    2. Physical: Physical Abuse is physical abuse of any person on college premises or at college-supervised functions, including physical actions which threaten or endanger the health or safety of any such persons.
  6. Sexual Harassment: Students are prohibited from engaging in sexual harassment as defined in the WCC Sex Discrimination and Harassment Policy. Allegations of sexual harassment are resolved according to the process described in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedures.
    *See policy/procedure 5.3.4/5.3.4.1 – Sex Discrimination and Harassment and Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance
  7. Harm or Destruction to College Facilities or Property: Harm or Destruction to College Facilities or Property is the damage or defacement of any college, student organization, community member, or campus visitor property on campus premises or at college functions.
  8. Theft: Theft is unauthorized possession of college, student organization, community member, or campus visitor property on campus premises or at college functions with the intent to deprive the owner of such property.
  9. Theft – Failure to Return Property: Theft – Failure to Return Property is failure to return college or student organization property.
  10. Concealment of Merchandise: Concealment of Merchandise is the concealment of any merchandise while inside any retail area on the college premises.
  11. Misuse – General: Misuse – General is the misuse of any college, student organization, community member or campus visitor property on campus premises or at college functions.
  12. Unauthorized Entry:
    1. Unauthorized Entry – College Property: Unauthorized Entry – College Property is unauthorized entry upon the property of the college which has been restricted in use and thereby placed off limits.
    2. Unauthorized Entry – Campus Buildings: Unauthorized Entry – Campus Buildings is unauthorized entry into a college building after closing hours.
  13. Computer and Network Usage Violation: Computer and Network Usage Violation is unlawful or malicious use of computer and network resources; use of computer and network resources for political, religious, and other personal or non-college purposes.
    *See policy 7.2 – Internet and Network Acceptable Use
  14. Unauthorized Children on Campus: Unauthorized Children on Campus is leaving a child unattended on campus; bringing a child to class without advance permission of the instructor. The college does not allow children in computer, science, industrial, medical, and other labs, shops, or other environments that pose a safety hazard. A child may not accompany a student on a routine basis and may only attend a class if the instructor has granted permission prior to class.
  15. Drugs and Alcohol:
    1. Drugs – Manufacture: Drugs – Manufacture is the manufacture of any illegal drugs, except as expressly permitted by law.
    2. Drugs – Distribution: Drugs – Distribution is the distribution of any illegal drugs, except as expressly permitted by law.
    3. Drugs – Possession: Drugs – Possession is the possession of any illegal drugs, except as expressly permitted by law.
    4. Drugs – Use: Drugs – Use is the use of any illegal drugs, except as expressly permitted by law.
    5. Drugs – Under the Influence: Drugs – Under the Influence is being under the influence of illegal drugs on the college premises or at college-sponsored or supervised functions off campus or in college-owned vehicles.
    6. Alcohol – Consumption/Possession: Alcohol Consumption/Possession is consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages on college premises or as part of any college activities.
    7. Alcohol – Underage Distribution: Alcohol – Underage Distribution is providing alcohol to individuals under the age of 21.
    8. Alcohol – Under the Influence: Alcohol – Under the Influence is being in a state of intoxication on the college premises or at a college-sponsored or supervised function off campus or in college-owned vehicles.

    *See policy 5.3.5 – Students – Alcohol and Drugs on Campus

  16. Firearms:
    1. Firearm – Possession: Firearm – Possession is possession of a firearm, incendiary device or explosive, or instrument designed to inflict serious bodily injury to any person unless authorized in conjunction with a college-approved activity or in a manner consistent with state law.
    2. Firearm – Use: Firearm – Use is use of a firearm, incendiary device or explosive, or instrument designed to inflict serious bodily injury to any person unless authorized in conjunction with a college-approved activity.
  17. Fire Alarm – Misuse: Fire Alarm – Misuse is setting off a fire alarm or using or tampering with any fire safety equipment, except with reasonable belief in the need for such alarm or equipment.
  18. Tobacco:
    1. Tobacco – Use: Tobacco – Use is use of tobacco products in campus buildings, facilities, vehicles, or on grounds and property owned or leased by the college. The prohibition includes all smoking tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes), all smokeless tobacco products (chews, dips, snuff, snus, dissolvable products), and extends to: energy dips/flavored dips; nicotine water and nicotine gel; hookahs/hookah products; all vaping products (vaporizers, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes, pens, and flavored cartridges); and any other items containing or reasonably resembling tobacco or tobacco products.
    2. Tobacco – Advertising/Distribution/Sale: Tobacco – Advertising/Distribution/Sale is the advertising, distribution, and/or sale of tobacco products on college property or through college media outlets.

    *See policy 2.2.1 – Tobacco-Free Campus

  19. Gambling: Gambling is any involvement in illegal gambling on campus premises or at college-sponsored events.
  20. Parking Violations: Parking violations is multiple violations of college regulations regarding the operation and parking of motor vehicles.
    *See policy 2.3.4 – Traffic Regulations
  21. Official Documents – Misuse: Official Documents – Misuse is forgery, alteration, or misuse of college documents, records, or instruments of identification with intent to deceive.
  22. Failure to Comply: Failure to Comply is failure to comply with instructions of college officials acting in performance of their duties.
  23. Failure to Comply – Disciplinary Actions: Failure to Comply – Disciplinary Actions is violation of the terms of disciplinary actions.
  24. False Information: False Information is knowingly making false or misleading statements about college business or official records or about college employees or students.
  25. Retaliation: Retaliation is intimidating, threatening, coercing or discriminating against any student or college employee for reporting, providing information, or exercising one’s rights or responsibilities under college policy.
    *See policy/procedure 5.3.4/5.3.4.1 – Sex Discrimination and Harassment and Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance
  26. Social Media – Misuse: Social Media – Misuse is the use of social media to breech privacy, discriminate, or harass. Students may not make, transmit, or attempt to transmit audio or video of any person(s) on college property where there is an explicit expectation of privacy. Any posts or tweets deemed inappropriate on a college social website or blog will be deleted immediately and may result in having access to the site blocked permanently.
    *See policy 7.2 and 7.5 – Internet and Network Acceptable Use / Social Media
  27. Lewd and Indecent Behavior: Lewd and indecent behavior includes public physical or verbal action or distribution of obscene material based on reasonable community standards. The conduct must be objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that the conduct constitutes lewd and/or indecent behavior.
    1. Public Exposure: Public Exposure is deliberately and publicly exposing one’s intimate body parts, public urination, public defecation, and public sex acts.
  28. Bullying/Harassment: Bullying/Harassment is defined as any pattern of gestures or written, electronic, or verbal communications or any physical act or any threatening communication that takes place on the College premises or at any College sponsored function that: (a) places a person in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her self or property; or (b) creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits or a College employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of his/her job. Hostile environment means that the victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying/harassing and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying/harassing. A hostile environment may be created through pervasive or persistent misbehavior or a single incident if sufficiently severe.
  29. Communicating Threats: Communicating threats is threatening to physically injure another person or that person’s child, sibling, spouse, or dependent, or willfully threatening to damage the property of another via verbal communication, writing, through a third person, or by any other means.
  30. Public Laws: Public laws is the violation of federal, state, or local laws that occur on campus or off campus. Violations of any federal, state, or local laws occurring while on campus may lead to legal actions as well as college disciplinary proceedings. Violations of federal, state, or local laws occurring off campus may result in disciplinary action if the student’s continued presence on campus constitutes a threat to the safety and order of the campus.

Adopted: 08/08/2019
Revised: 08/03/2020

I. OVERVIEW

The College is committed to providing an excellent educational experience for all students. Academic honesty and integrity are essential to the existence and growth of an academic community. Without maintenance of high standards of honesty, members of the instructional faculty are defrauded, students are unfairly treated, and society itself is poorly served. Although the maintenance of standards of honesty and integrity is the formal responsibility of the instructional faculty, it is ultimately shared by all members of the academic community. The academic penalty for academic-related violations should be clearly stated by the instructor in each course syllabus and reviewed at the beginning of the first-class meeting.

These procedures only apply to academic-related violations, outlined herein and defined in Policy 5.3.2 – Standards of Student Conduct. For non-academic violations, see Administrative Procedures 5.3.2.2.

II. STUDENT VIOLATIONS OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

In this section are definitions of student violations of academic integrity.

  1. Intent refers only to the intent to commit the dishonest action. Other aspects of the student’s motive (e.g., a desire to avoid academic suspension, or to help a friend) are not material in determining whether an act of dishonesty has been performed; and
  2. Authorization is legitimate only if given by the faculty member responsible for the evaluation of the student’s work.
Cheating

Cheating is intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices in any academic exercise. This definition includes unauthorized communication of information prior to and/or during an academic exercise and having other persons complete work or take tests.

Fabrication and Falsification

Fabrication and falsification is the intentional and unauthorized alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification is a matter of altering information, while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise. Forgery and academic record tampering are included in this category.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgement of the source).

  1. An author must give due credit whenever quoting another person’s actual words, whenever using another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories, and whenever borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material, unless the information is common knowledge.
  2. Direct Quotation. Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or by appropriate indentation and must be properly acknowledged. The citation must be complete and, in a style, appropriate to the academic discipline.
  3. Paraphrase. Proper acknowledgement is required when material from another source is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one’s own words.
  4. Borrowed Facts or Information. Information obtained in one’s reading or research which is not common knowledge must be acknowledged.
  5. One citation is usually sufficient to acknowledge indebtedness when a number of connected sentences in the paper or report draw their special information from one source. When direct quotations are used, however, quotation marks must be inserted, and proper acknowledgement made. Similarly, when a passage is paraphrased, proper acknowledgement is required.
Abuse of Academic Materials

Abuse of academic materials is intentionally or knowingly destroying, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other academic resource material, including equipment. Violations may be referred to civil authorities for prosecution under the law. (G.S. 14-398)

Complicity in Academic Dishonesty

Being an accomplice is intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

III. SANCTIONS FOR VIOLATIONS

All acts of academic dishonesty violate standards essential to the integrity of an academic community. Infractions observed by faculty member, administrator, librarian, counselor, or other personnel are to be reported to the student’s instructor. In all instances of a violation of the code, the student’s instructor will issue a written notice of the nature of the violation and the penalty or penalties to be assessed. The notice shall be on a standardized form and may be included in the student’s official file. The penalties which may be assessed are:

  1. A formal warning;
  2. A reduced grade (including F) for the assignment;
  3. A reduced grade (including F) for the course;
  4. Temporary dismissal from class pending resolution of the offense (pending final determination of penalty);
  5. Dismissal from class for the remainder of the semester with a grade of F. Once the grade of F has been issued and recorded for violation of this policy, it supersedes the right of the student to withdraw from the course; and/or
  6. Recommendation of disciplinary suspension from the college:
  7. The chief academic officer may suspend the student from taking credit/curriculum offerings for a period of one semester, effective the next semester; or
  8. The president or designee may institute suspension proceedings beyond a semester when there is a pattern of dishonesty which seems to be undeterred by imposing the penalties listed above. In this case, the following shall apply:
  9. A hearing panel elected by the president shall be composed of one representative from student services, two representatives from the student government association, and two full-time faculty members.
  10. The panel shall conduct hearings, review evidence, question parties involved and make recommendations, within two weeks, to the president, including a recommended time of suspension, if appropriate.
  11. The president shall render a decision on the recommendation within two weeks of receiving the recommendation from the hearing committee.
  12. Certain violations may be referred by the dean of student services to civil authorities for prosecution under law. (G.S. 14-398).

When the penalty chosen by the faculty member includes a reduction of grade for the assignment or for the course, the faculty member must document the reduction and the reason for the reduction on his or her personal grade roster so that all future questions regarding the grade can be answered. All grade rosters should be kept by the instructor for three years. When an instructor leaves the assigned position, his or her rosters for the past three years should be filed with the department dean (administrative assistant for the division).

IV. INVESTIGATION AND DETERMINATION

  1. Academic division investigation
    1. An instructor suspecting an incident of an academic-related violation shall present concerns to the student and provide an opportunity for the student to explain or refute the concerns.
    2. Taking the student’s explanation into consideration, the instructor will determine whether an academic violation has occurred and, if applicable, select and impose the appropriate sanction, explain its impact to the student, and document the process in course records.
      The instructor should consider the following factors in the determination of the appropriate sanction:

      1. The nature and seriousness of the offense;
      2. The injury or damage resulting from the misconduct;
      3. The student’s prior disciplinary record; and
      4. The student’s attitude and demeanor subsequent to the violation.
    3. The instructor will inform the student of the appeal process.

V. APPEAL PROCEDURES

  1. Appeal to division chair and/or dean
    1. After discussion with the instructor, if the student is dissatisfied with the decision, the student may appeal to the instructor’s immediate supervisor, either the appropriate department chair (“Chair”) or the division dean (“Dean”), who will investigate the matter and consult with both the instructor and student. (The chair and dean may choose to conduct a joint investigation.) The Chair or Dean may advise the instructor in a reconsideration of the violation and/or the sanction or may affirm the instructor’s original determination. If the Chair upholds the original decision of the instructor, the student may choose to continue the appeal to the Dean of the division, who will follow the same process.
    2. The Dean will communicate his/her findings via email to the student’s official College email address within five (5) business days of the initial meeting with the student. The findings must contain, with specificity, the evidence supporting the Dean’s determination. The Dean shall also inform the student of the imposed academic sanctions. The sanction will remain in place unless modified or overturned on appeal to the Vice President.
  2. Appeal to the vice president
    1. A student who disagrees with the Dean’s decision may appeal to the Vice President of Instruction. This appeal must be submitted in writing within three (3) business days of receipt of the Dean’s decision and describe, with specificity, why the student believes the Dean’s findings to be in error.
    2. The Vice President will conduct a formal review examining the Dean’s written findings and student’s written appeal. The Vice President may require the student, the instructor and any other necessary party to provide additional documents as needed, including written statements, or provide written clarification to submitted documents.
    3. After considering the evidence presented, the Vice President will affirm, modify or overturn the instructor’s decision.
    4. The Vice President will inform the student via the student’s official College email address of the decision within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the student’s appeal. The decision of the Vice President will be final.

Adopted: 08/08/2019

I. OVERVIEW

The Dean of Student Services (Dean) is responsible for implementing these Procedures.

These Procedures apply to non-academic violations defined in Policy 5.3.2 – Student Code of Conduct. For academic-related violations, see Procedure 5.3.2.1 – Discipline and Appeal for Academic Violations. For issues regarding sexual harassment and sexual violence, see Procedure 5.3.4.1 – Title IX Sex Discrimination and Harassment; and for issues related to other forms of unlawful discrimination, see Procedure 5.3.4.2 – Unlawful Discrimination.

II. CONDUCT PROCEDURES

This section describes college conduct procedures in response to violations of the Student Code of Conduct described in the Student Code of Conduct Policy.

Note: Academic Integrity violations will be investigated and adjudicated per the guidelines provided within the Discipline & Appeal for Academic Violations Procedure. Sex Discrimination and Harassment violations will be investigated and adjudicated per the guidelines provided within the Title IX Sex Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedure.

A. Student Conduct Authority

The chief student services officer is authorized by the President to have responsibility for the administration of the Code of Student Conduct. The following college officials serve as conduct administrators:

  1. Dean of Student Services
  2. Dean of College Readiness/Basic Skills
  3. Director of Alleghany Center
  4. Director of Curriculum and Student Services – Ashe Campus
  5. Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Education/Ashe Campus

The conduct administrators are responsible for managing the student conduct process. Duties include investigating complaints, determining whether violations of the Code of Conduct have occurred, and imposing sanctions. When complaints are brought to the attention of conduct administrators, they are obligated to initiate and oversee timely investigations and provide updates to the reporting party and the responding party.

B. Whom to Contact

Any member of the college community may file a complaint against a student for violations of college policies. Help can be sought from any of the offices or individuals below:

  1. Curriculum Students: Contact the Dean of Student Services;
  2. Workforce Development and Community Education Students: Contact the Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Education and Ashe Campus;
  3. Basic Skills Students: Contact the Dean of College Readiness/Basic Skills;
  4. Alleghany Center Students: Contact the Director of the Alleghany Center;
  5. Ashe Campus Students: Contact the Director of Curriculum and Student Services – Ashe Campus.

Individuals are urged to file a complaint as soon after an incident as possible. Individuals have the option to file a complaint online through www.wilkescc.edu/conduct. Individuals should recognize that delays in filing a complaint may significantly impair the ability of the college officials to investigate and respond to such complaints.

C. Investigation and Conduct Hearing
  1. Conduct Hearing Process: Within seven (7) working days after the complaint is received, the conduct administrator shall complete a preliminary investigation of the complaint and meet with the accused student. Failure to attend the conduct hearing may result in the accused student being placed on interim suspension.
    Prior to the conduct hearing, the conduct administrator will provide the student with written notice of the hearing and the alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct. At the conduct hearing, the student will be given a copy of the complaint and the administrator will inform the student of the results of his/her preliminary investigation.
    The student will be asked to indicate if he or she violated the conduct code. The student will also be given an opportunity to share additional information that the student would like the administrator to consider. The student cannot use any recording device at a conduct hearing.
    Following the conduct hearing, the conduct administrator will take one of the actions described in Section II of the Code of Student Conduct Procedure. Unless the charges are dismissed, the student has the right to request an appeal within five (5) working days following receipt of the written decision of the conduct administrator. Failure to request an appeal within the designated timeframe constitutes a waiver of an appeal hearing, in which case the decision of the conduct administrator shall be final.
  2. Interim Suspension: If an act of misconduct threatens the health or well-being of any member of the college community or disrupts the function or good order of the college or college premises, a conduct administrator may invoke immediate interim suspension. Interim suspension may result in exclusion from class and/or other privileges including presence on college premises or at college-sponsored activities until a final decision has been made concerning the alleged violation. The college will also notify the student in writing of the interim suspension and the reasons for the suspension. The notice will include information about conduct procedures, including the time, date, and place of an administrative hearing.
D. Appeal Process

Should a student choose to appeal the decision of the conduct administrator, a written notice of appeal must be filed with the Vice President of Instructional Support and Student Services. An appeal of the conduct administrator’s decision shall be limited to a review of the investigation and supporting documents, as indicated below, to determine if proper procedure was followed.

  1. To determine whether the investigation was conducted fairly in light of the allegations and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures. Deviation from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results;
  2. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the student was based on preponderance of the evidence; that is, more likely than not, a violation of college policy occurred;
  3. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of college policy which the student was found to have committed; and/or
  4. To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original investigation, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original investigation.

The appeal must be filed within five (5) working days of the conduct administrator’s decision being made known. The Vice President of Instructional Support and Student Services will conduct the process of investigating an appeal of a conduct administrator’s decision. The investigation shall begin within three (3) school days after receiving the notice of appeal.

The Vice President of Instructional Support and Student Services will follow the same procedure in reviewing the case as the investigating conduct administrator. The decision of the Vice President of Instructional Support and Student Services will be final.

Summary of Timeline for Conduct Hearing and Appeal Process
  • Conduct Investigation and Hearing: Must be completed within 7 working days after complaint is received.
  • Deadline to Submit Appeal: Must be submitted within 5 working days after receipt of the written decision of the conduct administrator.
  • Appeal Process: The VP of Instructional Support and Student Services shall begin investigation within 3 working days after receipt of the appeal.
E. Student Rights

Both the reporting party and the responding party have the following rights in the conduct process:

  1. Notice of the investigation to both parties;
  2. An opportunity for both parties to present witnesses and other evidence;
  3. Extension of any other rights given to the responding party to the reporting party;
  4. Notification of available campus and community resources;
  5. An opportunity to be accompanied by an advisor of the individual’s choosing, including an attorney. The college restricts the advisor’s participation in the process to accompanying the reporting party and the responding party to scheduled meetings that are part of the investigation; and
  6. Written notice of the outcome of the investigation and appeal, if applicable. The written notice will include the alleged policy violation, the decision and any sanction rendered, if applicable.

III. SANCTIONS

The following section describes college sanctions available to designated conduct administrators in response to violations of the Rules of Conduct described in Section V of the Code of Student Conduct Policy. The listing is not inclusive of all options which the college may choose to exercise. WCC may impose more than one sanction for one act of misconduct.

  1. Warning: A warning is an official written notice that the student has violated college policies and/or rules and that more severe conduct action will result should the student be involved in other violations while the student is enrolled at the college.
  2. General Probation: An individual may be placed on General Probation when involved in a minor disciplinary offense. General Probation has two (2) important implications: 1) the individual is given a chance to show capability and willingness to observe the Rules of Conduct without further penalty; and 2) if the individual violates additional college policy, further action will be taken. This probation will be in effect for no more than two (2) semesters, including the current semester.
  3. Restrictive Probation: Restrictive Probation results in loss of good standing and becomes a matter of record in the student’s file. Activity on campus is limited to attending class or visiting college offices (such as Student Services, bookstore, Learning Resources Center) to conduct business. Otherwise, a student must leave campus whenever not in class or conducting business with a college office. Additionally, the student will not be eligible for initiation into any local or national organization and may not receive any college award or other honorary recognition. The student may not occupy a position of leadership or responsibility with any college or student organization, publication or activity. This sanction also prohibits a student from officially representing the college or participating in any extracurricular activities. This probation will be in effect for not less than two (2)semesters, including the current semester. Involvement in further incidents during the restrictive probation period may result in additional sanctions, including suspension.
  4. Interim Suspension: Interim suspension is the exclusion from class/campus and/or other college activities until an investigation is completed and a final decision made concerning the alleged violation.
  5. Suspension: Suspension is the exclusion from class(es) and/or all other college privileges or activities for a specified period of time. Eligibility to return may be contingent upon satisfaction of specific conditions noted at the time of suspension. This sanction is reserved for those offenses warranting discipline more severe than probation or for repeated misconduct. During the suspension period, the student is banned from college property, functions, events, and activities without prior approval from a conduct administrator. This sanction may be enforced with a trespass action as necessary.
  6. Expulsion: Expulsion is dismissing a student from the college for an indefinite period. The student is banned from college property and the student’s presence at any college sponsored event is prohibited. This action may be enforced with a trespass action as necessary. A student may be readmitted to the college only with the approval of the President.
  7. Loss of Academic Credit or Grade: Imposed as a result of academic dishonesty.
  8. No Contact: A no contact order directs a student to refrain from: 1) approaching a particular student or employee at any time; 2) calling a specific student or employee at any time; 3) sending via email, social media, campus or regular mail anything to a specific student or employee; 4) contacting or communicating with a specific student or employee, including through a third party, in any way at any time.
  9. Educational Program: Requirement to attend, present and/or participate in a program related to the violation. It may also be a requirement to sponsor or assist with a program for others on campus to aid them in learning about a specific topic or issue related to the violation for which the student or organization was found responsible.
  10. Driving/Parking Loss: Revocation of driving and parking privileges on campus.
  11. Class Removal: Removal from a class for the remainder of the semester/term.
  12. Loss of Technology Privileges: Exclusion from all privileges associated with college technology access, including but not limited to email and network access and storage.
  13. Reflection Assignment: Requirement to provide a written response to a series of questions designed to help evaluate actions and assist in making better decisions in the future. Additionally, the student may be required to have a follow-up meeting with a conduct administrator or designee.
  14. Behavioral Requirement: This includes required activities such as but not limited to, seeking academic advising, counseling, substance abuse screening, writing a letter of apology, etc.
  15. Restitution: Compensation for damage caused to the college or a specified person’s property. This is not a fine, but a repayment for labor costs and/or the value of property destroyed, damaged, consumed, or stolen.
  16. Revocation of Degree: The college reserves the right to revoke an awarded degree for the discovery of previously unknown serious misconduct committed by a student prior to the student’s graduation.

Adopted: 08/08/2019

Campus Contacts

Any member of the college community may file a complaint against a student for violations of college policies. Help can be sought from any of the offices or individuals below:

Image of Scott Johnson
Scott Johnson, EdS
Dean of Student Services
Phone: 336-838-6141
sajohnson366@wilkescc.edu
Image of Chris Robinson
Chris Robinson, BA
Vice President of WDCE and Ashe Campus
Phone: 336-903-3111
Fax: 336-903-3164
cdrobinson877@wilkescc.edu
Image of Debbie Woodard
Debbie Woodard, MA
Dean of College Readiness and Basic Skills
Phone: 336-903-3231
drwoodard792@wilkescc.edu
Image of Susan Nilo
Susan Nilo, MA
Director of Alleghany Center
Phone: 336-903-3141
Fax: 336-903-3152
srnilo128@wilkescc.edu
Image of Kendra Perkins
Kendra Perkins, MA
Director of Curriculum and Student Services
Phone: 336-903-3116
kgperkins163@wilkescc.edu

Online Reporting Options

The reporting structure for potential Code of Student Conduct violations is divided into three categories. Complaints may be filed using the one of the following complaint forms.

  • Academic Integrity Violation
    Academic violations include taking or acquiring possession of academic material without permission; cheating; collusion; and plagiarism. General classroom misconduct/disruption is a non academic violation.
  • Sexual Harassment Violation (Title IX)
    Sexual Harassment violations include conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: (1) an employee of WCC conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct. (commonly referred to quid pro quo harassment); (2) unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to WCC’s Education Program or Activity; or (3) Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, or Stalking as those terms are defined under other federal laws, including the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Other Conduct Code Violation
    Other conduct code violations include any behavior that is not related to an academic integrity violation or sexual harassment violations (e.g., alcohol, classroom disruption, drugs, theft, tobacco, etc.).

Notice of Non-Discrimination

Wilkes Community College (WCC), in compliance with and as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and its implementing regulations (“Title IX”) and other civil rights laws, as well as in furtherance of its own values as a higher education institution, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable local, state, or federal law in admission, treatment, or access to, or employment in, its programs and activities.

Discrimination and harassment are antithetical to the values and standards of the WCC community; are incompatible with the safe, healthy environment that the WCC community expects and deserves and will not be tolerated. WCC is committed to providing programs, activities, and an education and work environment free from discrimination and harassment. WCC is also committed to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting and fair and timely resolution of those behaviors.

Inquiries concerning discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex may be referred to WCC’s Title IX Coordinator (for employees) or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for students).  Their contact information is located in the “File A Report” section of the Title IX and Sexual Harassment page.

Inquiries concerning discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic or status other than sex may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator (for employees) or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for students).

Individuals may also make inquiries regarding discrimination or harassment to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights by contacting the District of Columbia Office, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-1475; phone: 800-421-3481; email: OCR@ed.gov.