Code of Student Conduct Texas State Technical College Harlingen
It is the policy of Texas State Technical College (TSTC) to encourage fair and efficient solutions for problems arising out of the student/college relationship. As responsible members of the college community, students and organizations/clubs are expected to maintain the highest level of academic and social conduct and are responsible for knowing TSTC’s policies and standards.
Administrator – individual assigned to collect, schedule, and be a liaison for the review process.
Board of Regents – governing body of TSTC System, appointed by the Governor of Texas.
Code of Student Conduct (the Code) – standards of conduct and procedures established to provide a full and fair opportunity for review of alleged misconduct.
College – Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Harlingen
College Premises – all buildings, facilities, land, and other property that are owned, used, leased or controlled by the college.
Complaint – a statement of the essential facts constituting a violation of the Code or policy of the college.
Director of Community Standards – college official authorized to investigate alleged violations of the Code and to administer the procedures and sanctions of the Code.
Disciplinary Conference (Conference) – an informal conversation with the student to review the alleged violation(s) and give them an opportunity to respond directly and present relevant information including witnesses, documents, etc.
Drug Paraphernalia – any equipment, product, or material that is used for making, using, or concealing drugs, regardless of that item’s intended use at the time of its production.
Established Student Relationship – from the time of application for admissions to the college through an award of degree which will include breaks of enrollment if the student continues to have an association with the college.
Notice of Complaint – the initial document that identifies alleged misconduct in violation of the Code.
Review – a request made by a student who disagrees with the Director of Community Standard’s decision or sanction and requests that the Student Conduct Review Board evaluate the decision.
Residential Facilities – any facility operated by the college or under agreement by an outside agency, with sole purpose of providing housing for students.
Student – an individual who has established a relationship with the college for the purpose of taking a course or courses.
Student Conduct Review Board – a group convened at the request of a student or student group to evaluate the Director of Community Standard’s decision or sanction placed on an individual.
Substantial Evidence - such evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
Working Day – Monday through Friday, except for official college holidays or college closings.
- The Code provides an educational and non-adversarial process designed to resolve matters concerning student professionalism or conduct; it is not designed to be a legal or judicial process.
- The Code is designed to be reliable, fair and effective.
- Individuals who have established a student relationship with the college are subject to the Code.
- The Code applies to all aspects of campus life: in the classroom, on college property, in residential facilities, at an off campus sponsored activity, or conduct that may occur off campus.
- The code operates by substantial evidence.
- Disciplinary records are maintained by the Director of Community Standards in accordance with college records and retention policy.
- Students at TSTC neither lose the rights nor escape the responsibilities of citizenship. They are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with local, state and federal law and the Code as authorized by the TSTC Board of Regents.
- The college disciplinary process will proceed during the pendency of any related criminal or civil proceedings and will not be subject to reconsideration even if related charges are dismissed or otherwise resolved.
- Student Clubs/Organizations are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the college’s function as an educational institution. Student Clubs/Organizations must observe all international, federal, state or local laws and college policies, including the Code, both on campus and off campus.
The Director of Community Standards may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student for violations of the Code.Specific examples of prohibited conduct subject to disciplinary action include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Acts Violating System Operating Standards (SOS), College Operating Procedures (COP) and College Policies
- Copyright Compliance SOS No. ES 2.11
- Disruptive Classroom Activities Policy – Pending Review
- Alcohol/Drug Possession Use ES 3.05
- Prohibited Sexual Harassment Policy HR 4.03
- Racial Harassment Policy HR 4.05
- Hazing Policy (see page 56)
- Smoking Policy HR COP 4.13 (SOS HR 2.4.13)
- Student Clubs and Organizations - SOS ES.3.21, SOS ES.3.22
- Student Rights and Responsibilities COP ES 3.17 – Pending Review
- Student Clubs/Organization Risk Management Policy (see page 37)
B. Acts of Dishonesty
- Intentionally furnishing false or misleading information to the college or a college official to include that presented in adisciplinary conference, investigation, review, or other proceeding.
- Forging, altering, falsifying or misusing any college document or instrument of identification includes failure to provide requested information and/or providing false information on a College document, form, or record.
- Intentionally interfering with any election process.
C. Acts Affecting the College Community
- Engaging or conducting oneself in a manner that significantly interferes with or disrupts a college teaching, research,administrative, disciplinary, student services, or other college activity, or any other disruptive behavior including but not limited to such acts defined in the Texas Education Code or engaging in such behavior for the purpose of inciting others to disruptive behavior.
- Failure to comply with the reasonable directive(s) of a college employee which includes Resident Assistants.
- Failure to heed an official summons within the designated time or failure to identify oneself to an institutional representative in response to a request.
- Violation of a rule or regulation relating to residence life policies, a breach of a housing contract/lease or motor vehicle regulations.
- Failure to maintain a current official mailing address in the Office of Admissions, or giving a false or fictitious address or name to an institutional representative.
- Inappropriate dress, grooming or personal hygiene while attending class or participating in an on or off campus college sponsored event. Note: If a student’s attire detracts from the learning experience or creates an unsafe condition, the student will be asked to change his/her clothing. If in doubt, ask the instructor or college employee responsible for the class or event.
- Engaging in or use of obscene, lewd, or vulgar language, behavior and display regardless of the medium.
- Gambling in any form on College property or in connection with College activities.
- Failure to comply or fulfill financial or contractual obligation(s) to the college, or write a check on an account that is closed or has insufficient funds.
- Loitering on college property after being asked to leave by a person in charge.
- Conducting oneself in a manner that that endangers the health or safety of any person (including guests and visitors) on College property or in connection with a College-related, sponsored, or orientated activity.
- Inappropriate behavior (i.e. in subordination, public display of affection, etc.)
- The act of retaliation to keep one from participating in his or her rights to a process.
D. Acts Affecting Property or Service
- Theft or attempted theft of property or services. Stealing, damaging, defacing destroying, or misusing College Property or property belonging to an employee or student of the College, or campus visitor, including failure to turn in found items on campus to College Police or college employee.
- Possession of stolen property.
- Destruction or damage to college property or the property of others.
- Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of access devices to college property or the property of others.
- Unauthorized entry onto or use of college or individual’s premises, equipment or resources.
E. Acts Affecting Computing Resources or Technology
- Unauthorized access, use or misuse of college computing resources, systems or data.
- Disrupting college computer operations or the availability of computing resources.
- Using another individual’s identification, password or other credential.
- Unauthorized use or sharing of copyrighted materials through electronic means.
- Initiating or contributing to attacks against external networks or college systems.
- Use of college computers to access lewd, offensive or pornographic material.
- Transporting copies of college programs, records or data to another person or computer without written authorization.
- Using the college’s computer resources for personal gain.
- Possession of, or making use of, college keys or identification cards for unauthorized purposes or unauthorized access to college facilities.
F. Acts Affecting Health, Safety or Welfare
- Engaging in, participating in, or inciting others to physical, psychological, or verbal abuse, domestic violence, threats,intimidation, harassment, coercion, physical/ electronic stalking or any other conduct that threatens or endangers the health, safety or welfare of another person that includes but is not limited to blocking or in any way interfering with access to any facility in the College.
- Possession, use, sale or distribution of any quantity, whether usable or not, of an illicit drug, narcotic, controlled substance, illegal drug paraphernalia or equipment on College property including residential facilities or as part of any of its activities.
- Public intoxication, use, possession or distribution of an alcoholic beverage(s) on any college property, at an intercollegiate or intramural activity; college related, sponsored, or oriented activity; or any other area of the campus,either managed by the College or under the agreement with an outside agency.
- Being under the influence of alcohol, an illicit drug, narcotic or controlled substance on College property or during a college-related, sponsored or orientated activity.
- Providing minors or any other individual intoxicating beverages in violation of any state, federal or local law.
- Hazing, as defined by the Texas Education Code, including engaging in, soliciting, encouraging, directing, aiding, or voluntarily submitting in behavior that could cause physical, mental or emotional harm to another or is considered humiliating or degrading.
- Engaging in or inciting others to acts of sexual misconduct, abuse or harassment.
- Engaging in or inciting others to speech, either orally or in writing that is directed to incite, produce lawless action,annoy or intimidate another.
- Possession, exhibition, use, and/or display of ammunition or of a dangerous weapon, defined as any instrument, device or object capable of inflicting physical harm. Examples of a dangerous weapon include firearms, explosive devices,dangerous chemicals, knives, fireworks, compressed air guns, pellet guns, stun or zip guns, tasers, BB guns, paint ball guns, etc. or any other weapon prohibited or regulated by local, state, or federal law.
- Misuse or tampering of fire extinguishers or other life safety equipment or interfering with any college or public safety function of the College or in College facilities, including housing facilities.
- Reporting a false emergency or threat.
- Tobacco and electronic smoking devices used inside campus buildings or within the non-smoking designated areas.
- Engaging in or inciting others to acts of racial harassment.
- Participating in or inciting others to cyberbullying, defined as the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person, which at times is done so anonymously.
G. Acts Violating Law
- Engaging in conduct that constitutes a criminal offense under international, federal, state or local law whether convicted or not, and regardless of whether the incident happened on campus or off campus.
- Breaching the peace; or abetting or inciting another to breach the peace.
- Disorderly conduct as defined by state law or any activity that includes, but may not be limited to: physical or verbal abuse, injury to another person, indecent displays or use of indecent language, nonconsensual acts of sexual contact/assault or disrespect for the rights and privileges of others.
H. Facilitating Acts of Misconduct
- Planning or facilitating an act of misconduct
- Being present or inciting others during the commission of an act of misconduct and supporting or encouraging the act.
- Aiding, abetting, conspiring, or being an accessory to any act prohibited in this code. These actions will be considered the same as completed violations.
I. Acts interfering with the Disciplinary Process
- Failure to comply with a request to schedule or attend a conference with the Vice President of Student Development and the Director of Community Standards within a designated time.
- Failure to comply with sanction(s) imposed under the Code or by the College.
- Falsifying or misrepresenting information at any stage of the disciplinary process.
- Knowingly initiating a false complaint to a college official.
- Attempting to discourage a person’s participation in or use of the disciplinary process.
- Harassment, intimidation or retaliation against a college official or person involved in the disciplinary process (ex.keeping one from participating in his or her right to a process).
J. Acts of Scholastic Dishonesty
Includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records - any act designed to give unfair advantage to the student or any attempt to commit such an act.
- “Cheating” on academic work includes, but is not limited to:
- Copying from another student’s test paper or other academic work.
- Possession during a test of material, such as class notes, that is not authorized by the person giving the test. The presence of textbooks is a violation if they have been prohibited by the person giving the test.
- Collaborating, without authority, or seeking aid from another student during an examination or assignment, or in preparing academic work.
- Using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting or soliciting, in whole or in part, the contents of an un-administered test,test key, homework solution or computer program.
- Substituting for another student or permitting another student to substitute for oneself to take a test or prepare other academic work.
- Paying, offering money or other valuables to, or coercing another person to obtain an un-administered test, test key,homework solution or computer program, or information about an un-administered test, test key, homework solution or computer program.
- Falsifying laboratory reports and/or other academic work offered for credit.
- Taking, keeping, misplacing or damaging property of the college, or of another, if the student knows or reasonably should know that an unfair academic advantage would be gained by such conduct.
- Failing to comply with instructions given by a person administering a test.
- Discussing the contents of an examination with another student who will take the examination.
- Divulging the contents of an examination for the purpose of preserving questions for use by another when the instructor has designated that the examination is not to be removed from the examination room or not to be returned to the student.
- Misrepresenting facts, including providing false grades or resumes for the purpose of obtaining academic or financial benefit or injuring another student academically or financially.
- “Plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the appropriation, buying, receiving as a gift or obtaining by any means another’s work and the submission of it as one’s own academic work offered for credit.
- “Collusion” means the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing academic or lab assignments offered for credit, or collaboration with another person to commit a violation of any scholastic-dishonesty rule.
- “Falsifying academic records” includes, but is not limited to, the alteration of grades or other falsification of an academic record such as grade report, test paper, registration material or reporting form used by the college.