Student Conduct Process
A. Charges and Conference Meetings
- Any member of the San Jacinto College community may file a report against a student for alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct.
- Allegations should be directed to the Compliance and Judicial Affairs Office by using the online incident report form found here: www.sanjac.edu/incident-report. Any report of a violation of the Code should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place. However, all reports will be reviewed in accordance with this process, regardless of when the report is filed.
- Compliance and Judicial Affairs will determine whether the alleged conduct is non-academic in nature; whether the alleged conduct, if proven to be true, describes a violation of the Code of Student Conduct; and whether the allegation warrants further investigation. Compliance and Judicial Affairs has sole discretion and may decline to investigate.
- Following a decision to investigate, the respondent will receive written notification that an alleged violation has been reported. The respondent will be directed to contact the Compliance and Judicial Affairs office within seven (7) working days to schedule an appointment for an opportunity to respond to the allegations. If the student does not respond to the written notification, a hold may be placed on the student’s educational account.
- Correspondence from the Compliance and Judicial Affairs office will be sent to the respondent’s official San Jacinto College email account but may also be sent through the US Postal Service, or hand-delivered. An email will be deemed to have been received the day after the sending of the message. A first-class letter will be deemed to have been received on the third day after the date of mailing, excluding any intervening Sunday or federal holiday. It is the student’s responsibility to update the College of any changes to contact information and to monitor his/her student email account. Failure to update contact information or monitor student email account does not constitute good cause for failure to comply with a notification.
- An administrative hold may be placed on the respondent’s student records if the student fails to respond to the summons. Regardless of whether the respondent timely responds to the summons, the investigator may continue his/her investigation.
- The investigator will conduct an impartial fact-finding investigation of all allegations. As part of the investigation, the investigator may interview any witnesses as necessary or appropriate.
- The parties may provide a list of potential witnesses and any relevant evidence they believe will assist the investigator. Relevant evidence may include emails, text messages, notes, documents, photographs, recordings, or other tangible evidence.
- In cases involving more than one respondent, each respondent’s conference meeting will occur separately.
- Upon conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will make a determination as to whether the respondent is responsible or not responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct.
- The standard of proof for all investigations is preponderance of the evidence, which means the investigator’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is “more likely than not” the respondent violated the Code of Student Conduct.
- If the investigator determines that there are insufficient grounds to establish that a violation of the Code occurred, the investigation shall be closed and notification will be sent to the respondent.
- If the investigator determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent has violated one or more provisions of the Code of Student Conduct, the investigator will impose an appropriate sanction(s). When imposing a sanction, the investigator shall consider the evidence gathered in the investigation and may consider the respondent’s discipline history.
- Notification of the determination, sanction(s), and the appropriate appeal process will be sent to the respondent via their San Jacinto College email account. In some cases, notification may also be delivered via US Postal Service or hand-delivered.
- Formal rules of procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as those that are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used and do not apply in this process.
B. Retaliation Prohibited
Every student has the right to file a complaint or to participate in an investigation without being subjected to retaliation. Retaliation is an adverse action taken by an employee or student against an individual who makes a good faith report or participates in an investigation pertaining to allegations of code of student conduct violations. For an action or decision to be considered adverse, it must be materially adverse and be of the type that would dissuade a reasonable person from exercising his or her rights to file a complaint or to participate in an investigation. Unlawful retaliation does not include petty slights or annoyances. Any employee or student who engages in retaliation may be subject to disciplinary action.
C. Disciplinary Sanctions and Remedies
Sanctions and remedies are designed to promote the College’s educational mission. Sanctions and remedies also promote safety and may deter students from behavior that harms, harasses or threatens people or property. Disciplinary sanctions and remedies will be based upon the seriousness of the offense, the student’s attitude, the impact of the misconduct on the College environment, the student’s overall record at the College (including prior discipline, if any) and statutory or other legal requirements, if any. Possible disciplinary sanctions and remedies include, but are not limited to:
- Written warning: A formal notice stating that the Code has been violated and that future violations will be dealt with more severely.
- Disciplinary probation: A sanction that indicates that the individual’s standing with the College is in jeopardy and that further violations may result in suspension or expulsion.
- Restitution: A sanction that requires the student to compensate an injured party for loss, damage or injury in the form of money, service or material replacement.
- Community service: Performance of a specified number of hours or tasks designed to benefit the College community and/or to help the student understand why his or her behavior was inappropriate.
- Class or workshop attendance: Enrollment and completion of a class or workshop designed to help the student understand why his or her behavior was inappropriate.
- Educational project: Completion of a project specifically designed to help the student understand why his or her behavior was inappropriate.
- Suspension of privileges: Loss of privileges, such as loss of library privileges, computer privileges, parking privileges or the privilege to attend athletic or other extracurricular events.
- Removal from courses or activities: Removal from specific courses or activities, including revocation of eligibility to represent the College in athletic or other extracurricular activities.
- Counseling: Mandatory counseling sessions or support group attendance.
- Failing grade: A failing grade may be given for a test, assignment or course.
- Restrictions on access: Restriction from entering specific College areas.
- No-contact order: Restrictions on all forms of contact with certain persons.
- Suspension: Separation from the College for a specified period of time or until certain conditions are met.
- Expulsion: Permanent separation from the College whereby the student is not eligible for readmission.
- Revocation of degree: Revocation of degree and withdrawal of diploma.
These sanctions do not diminish or replace the penalties available under generally applicable civil or criminal laws. Students are reminded that many violations of the code, including harassment and other discriminatory behavior, also may violate local, state and federal laws and may subject the student to additional penalties.
D. Emergency Suspension
Pending a hearing or other disposition of charges against a student, the Provost, Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services, Dean of Compliance & Judicial Affairs, Deans of Student Development, or their designees may take such immediate interim disciplinary action as is appropriate to the circumstances. This includes suspending the right of the student to be present on campus and to attend classes or activities when the continuing presence of the student poses a potential danger to persons or property or poses a potential threat of disrupting the academic process or any activity authorized by the College. The administration will promptly send written notice to the student via hand delivery, electronic mail, or first-class US mail.
In determining whether an emergency suspension is warranted, the administration will consider the reliability of the evidence or report of wrongdoing and whether the continued presence of the student on campus reasonably poses a threat to the physical or emotional well-being of any individual, including the student, or for reasons relating to the safety and welfare of any College property or any College function.
E. Appeals Overview
- A decision by Compliance and Judicial Affairs may be appealed by the Respondent within five (5) business days of the decision. Such appeals shall be submitted using the appeal form by clicking here. The timely filing of an appeal generally will suspend the imposition of any imposed sanction, however, interim action(s), including emergency suspension, may be implemented as authorized by this Code.
- If the student does not file an appeal, then the sanction or remedy imposed by Compliance and Judicial Affairs will become final and will be promptly implemented.
- In cases where the sanction is either suspension or expulsion, the appeal will be heard by a Conduct Appellate Board. In cases with sanctions other than suspension or expulsion, the appeal will be heard by the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services or designee.
F. Appeals to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services
Within 12 working days of receipt of the appeal, the Associate Vice Chancellor or designee, will review the respondent’s appeal and the evidence, documents, and information gained through the investigation and will issue a decision to the student. No new evidence shall be considered unless the basis of the appeal is that new, material evidence has been located and was not reasonably available at the time of the determination regarding responsibility. The Associate Vice Chancellor or designee may request written clarification from the parties if deemed necessary to make a decision. The decision of the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services is final and non-appealable.
G. Appeals to a Conduct Appellate Board
Pursuant to Texas Education Code 21.231 – 21.243, students who have been sanctioned with expulsion, suspension in excess of five school days, revocation of a diploma/degree, withdrawal of a diploma/degree, removal from campus, or emergency suspension, may request a hearing on the decision before a Conduct Appellate Board.
- Upon receipt of an appeal to a Conduct Appellate Board, a hearing ordinarily shall be held within 12 working days. The investigator will promptly notify the student of the date and time of the hearing via email.
- No less than 4 working days before the hearing, the investigator will provide the respondent with the names and titles of the members of the Conduct Appellate Board, a list of intended witnesses, and copies of any documents intended to be used as evidence.
- No less than 4 working days before the hearing, the respondent shall provide the investigator with a list of intended witnesses and copies of any documents intended to be used as evidence.
- During the hearing, the respondent is entitled to an advisor. The advisor may be any person as long as they are not a witness in the matter. The advisor may be an attorney. If the respondent intends to have an attorney present for the hearing, he/she must notify the investigator and the Conduct Appellate Board no less than 4 working days before the hearing. Failure to notify of the intent to have an attorney present may result in rescheduling the hearing. If the respondent chooses to have an attorney present for the hearing, the College retains the right to also have an attorney present. Advisors are allowed to be present for the hearing but are not allowed to participate in any way and may not question or cross-examine witnesses.
- The hearing will be conducted as an administrative hearing. Courtroom rules of evidence and civil procedure will not apply. Evidence, however, must be relevant or material. The hearing board may seek legal advice from an attorney as appropriate during the hearing or while preparing a written determination. Hearings are closed to members of the public.
- Upon conclusion of the hearing, the Conduct Appellate Board will privately deliberate to reach a decision. The Board shall consult with the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services regarding the proposed disposition of the appeal. The Associate Vice Chancellor shall review the decision for compliance with College policy. The final decision of the Conduct Appellate Board shall be communicated to the respondent, investigator, and Compliance and Judicial Affairs within 12 working days of the filing of the appeal. The decision of the Conduct Appellate Board is final and non-appealable.
H. Good Cause Delay
Upon a showing of good cause, or upon the mutual agreement of the parties, all deadlines above may be extended as appropriate and necessary.
In the event that a student is a qualified person with a disability under federal law and is unable to represent himself or herself during an investigation or hearing because of his or her disability, the student may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation. Requests for accommodations in the student conduct process should be directed to Accessibility Services via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.