Safe and Respectful Learning Environment
“Membership in society implies minimal norms for civil behavior towards one another. It is our expectation that all members of our college community treat faculty, staff, and fellow students with respect.”.
The general purpose of our student code of conduct policy is to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment. This policy establishes a clear conduct standard, an explanation of the reporting processes, and an explanation of the conduct investigation, actions, sanction, and appeals processes. There are specific policies and procedures related to conduct that apply to faculty and staff. The following policy and related processes are specific to students.
Statement of Conduct Standard
Members of the Granite State College community are expected to treat each other with respect. Some conduct may seem respectful to one party and not to the other. Our conduct standard recognizes and accommodates these differences in perspective by providing a confidential, fair and expeditious process for resolving these differences before they escalate. Members of our community are expected to know and comply with the policies, rules, and procedures of the College, including this conduct policy. Behavior that threatens or endangers the welfare of members of the College community or substantially disrupts or threatens to substantially disrupt the operation of the College is prohibited and shall be grounds for disciplinary action, including possible dismissal from the College. Such prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to disruptive conduct, harassment, bullying, discrimination, sexual violence, sexual harassment, intimidation, and threatening behaviors.
College jurisdiction and discipline applies to conduct which occurs on College premises or off-campus behavior that adversely affects a member of the College community and/or the pursuit of the College’s objectives. This Code shall apply to students participating in College managed or approved courses (face-to-face and online) field-based experiential learning, and events or trips.
Issues concerning academic integrity are subject to the Academic Policies and Procedures explained in the Granite State College Catalog. The College may refer any observed or reported incidents of conduct to the appropriate civil or criminal authority, as it may deem appropriate. Proceedings under this code are administrative and educational in nature and purpose. They do not constitute a criminal law process, nor are they intended to resemble one.
Early intervention in conduct issues is the best way to avoid escalation and to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment. The College tries to ensure every member of the community knows how to report conduct issues and is able to participate in the process. The majority of conduct cases are resolved informally, expeditiously, and with respect for the privacy of the parties involved.
Conduct concerns should be reported to any member of the Conduct Team, listed below. If in doubt about whether to report an incident, please contact a member of the Team to describe your concern. The Team member will help you understand and consider your options. Furthermore, even if you are uncertain whether the nature or severity of your concerns would warrant reporting, your experience or observation might be part of a pattern that would justify further review and, if substantiated, corrective action.
Retaliation for reporting a conduct issue is strictly prohibited and will subject the person who retaliates to sanction, including dismissal. Any suspected incident of retaliation should be reported promptly to the Conduct Team.
CONTACT THE CONDUCT TEAM
Title IX Coordinator
Director of Student Affairs
TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Director of Human Resources
TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Director of Facilities, Safety, and Sustainability
TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)
Conduct Investigations, Actions, Sanctions, Appeals, and Grievance
The Conduct Team is responsible for:
- Investigating all reported conduct issues
- Affording opportunities for all affected parties to provide relevant information including evidence of significant mitigating circumstances
- Determining responsibility based on a preponderance standard (more likely than not that the reported behavior occurred)
- Initiating appropriate actions, including sanctions
- Maintaining a written record of all actions regarding conduct cases
When a conduct issue has been reported, one member of the Conduct Team will be designated to investigate the matter. The investigator will work with relevant Granite State College managers and staff to determine whether the matter can be resolved informally. If not, the matter will be resolved using the process outlined below. The investigator will not participate in a determination of responsibility or sanction on the matter in question—that will be done by another member(s) of the Conduct Team.
- Any student accused of violation of the conduct code will be provided written notice of allegations and an opportunity to be heard.
- The Conduct Team Investigator will assess the conduct issue, identify, and interview people relevant to the conduct issue, and determine the need for further response. If further response is not warranted, this finding will be shared with the reporting party and the respondent. Typically, the finding of no further response simply means that the issue can be resolved informally by the parties involved. Often the Conduct Team will assist by advising toward successful informal resolution.
- If further response is needed, the Conduct Team will:
- Determine if the conduct report needs to be referred to the Title IX investigation process
- Determine any necessary interim measures, which may include reporting the incident to the police, issuing a timely warning regarding criminal conduct to the College community, issuing "no-contact" orders, or other temporary measures to mitigate an active conduct issue
- Work with local law enforcement during the investigation process, if applicable
- Inform parties of findings and, if deemed appropriate through this process, impose sanctions
- All reported conduct issues that require an institutional response will become conduct cases and a case file will be maintained containing documentation relevant to the issue. All conduct case documentation will be treated as part of the student’s student record with the appropriate protections required by law.
- Any question of interpretation regarding the Student Code of Conduct shall be referred to the Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Compliance, and Planning or his or her designee for final determination.
In certain circumstances, the Conduct Team, or a designee, may suspend a student from an academic course or other College activity pending resolution of the regular code of conduct process, as outlined below. Such a suspension is called “interim suspension.”
- Interim suspension may be imposed: a) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community or preservation of College property; b) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or c) if the student poses a substantial risk of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the College.
- During the interim suspension, a student may be denied access to the campus (including classes) and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Conduct Team may determine to be appropriate.
- The interim suspension does not replace the regular conduct process.
The following conduct may result in sanction up to and including suspension or expulsion from the College.
- Sexual misconduct as outlined in the sexual misconduct policy
- Discriminatory harassment
- Infliction of physical harm or threatening/endangering physical harm to others
- The commission or conspiracy to commit a hate crime or hate crime-related related activities
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other College activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or of other authorized non-College activities when the conduct occurs on College premises
- Violation of any federal, state or local law
- Other actions of a similar severity
One or more of the following actions or sanctions may be applied through the conduct investigation or resolution process:
- Written Warning: A notice in writing that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations. Continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may result in additional disciplinary action.
- Exclusion/Removal from College Activity/Event/Class: A student given this sanction may be barred from attending a College sponsored activity, event, or class, for a specified period of time, not to exceed 180 days. These restrictions may be extended to participation in online events sponsored by the College.
- No Contact Order: A “no contact” order can be applied to bar a student from further contact with a specified person, group, or location. For the latter, if necessary, a no trespass order may be filed with the police
- Restitution: The College may require restitution for damage, destruction, or theft of College or other property. These charges may not be in excess of the damage or loss incurred and may be imposed together with other sanctions.
- Probation: A written reprimand for a violation of a specific nature that includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulations during the probationary period. Probation is for a designated period of time.
- Suspension: A student may be suspended from the College for a specified period of time, not to exceed one year. The student while suspended shall not participate in any College sponsored activity and will be barred from College premises. Revocation of suspension requires a meeting with the Director of Student Affairs to agree on the terms of reinstatement. Students suspended from the College are not entitled to refunds for tuition or fees associated with their interrupted enrollment.
- Dismissal and Expulsion from the College: Permanent separation of the student from the College. Students expelled from the College are not entitled to refunds for tuition or fees associated with their interrupted enrollment.
Students subject to discipline may appeal the decision imposing the disciplinary action. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Vice President of Finance and Administration within 10 business days after the student receives written notification of the disciplinary decision. The appeal must specify the grounds on which it is being made. Allowable grounds for appeals are limited to the following:
- Procedural irregularity;
- Insufficiency of evidence to support the charged violations of the Code of Conduct;
- Inappropriately imposed sanction(s);
- Newly available evidence that is sufficient to alter the decision and that was not available at the time of the original hearing.
The student will receive a copy of the appeal decision within 10 business days of the Vice President of Finance and Administration’s receipt of the appeal. Among other possible outcomes, the appeal decision may require that the previously imposed sanctions be:
- Affirmed and implemented;
- Suspended, set-aside or reversed;
- Modified or amended.
Upon notification, administrative offices throughout the College will take all requisite actions to record and implement the final decision of the College. Appeal decisions made by the Vice President of Finance and Administration are final.
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For anonymous reporting of conduct violations, discrimination, harassment, or violence of any kind (i.e. sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking).