3.0 Prohibited Conduct

Any student found to have committed the following acts is subject to disciplinary sanction(s), condition(s), and/or restriction(s). Misconduct or prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to:

3.1 Endangerment and Unwelcome Physical Contact

3.1.1 Conduct that threatens or is likely to endanger the health or safety of any person on College property or at College sponsored and supervised functions, including physical abuse or assault, fighting, threats to use force and acts of intimidation or harassment.

3.1.2 Action(s) that endanger the health, safety or well-being of another person or group.

3.1.3 Action(s) that is likely to endanger one’s own health or safety.

3.1.4 Interference with the freedom of another person to move about in a lawful manner or to participate in the activities of the College.

3.1.5 Physical contact with another when the actor knows or reasonably should know that the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.

3.2 Harassment

“Harassment” as used in this section refers to repetitive or persistent conduct that goes beyond annoyance, frustration or offensiveness. The actions must be severe or pervasive, and the effect of the conduct must be to deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s activities, programs, or services. The term “harassment” as used in this section generally excludes acts or decisions of College officials in the performance of their duties (e.g., assignment of a low grade, denial of financial aid), or an official's inquiries about the student’s conduct. This section does not apply to harassment based on sex, race, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, citizenship, age, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, national origin, religion or disability. Separate procedures govern harassment based on a protected status. (See Complaint Procedures 300 and 400 in the Student Handbook.)

3.2.1 Harassment includes conduct that is physical, verbal, graphic, written or electronic. Harassment may be threatening or intimidating, or it may be distracting and disruptive (e.g. bullying, persistent attempts to prevent someone from studying; flashing a light in someone’s eyes; humiliating but non-threatening practical jokes).

3.2.2 “Harassment” includes, but is not limited to persistent and unwelcome communications by telephone, in writing or by electronic device, including social media cyberbullying, in a manner that is reasonably likely to threaten, harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment or embarrass.

3.2.3 Discriminatory Harassment is physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct directed at a person because of his or her race, color, national origin, sex (gender), religion, disability, age, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected status and that is so severe, persistent or pervasive that the conduct:

  1. Affects a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile or offensive educational environment;
  2. Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the student’s academic performance or an employee’s work performance; or
  3. Otherwise adversely affects a person’s educational or employment opportunities.

Examples of prohibited harassment include, but are not limited to, offensive or derogatory comments, jokes or slurs because of the individual’s protected status or because of the individual’s need for an accommodation based on disability or religion; actions that are designed to humiliate or embarrass; physical aggression or assault; display of graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic or other negative stereotypes; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property when motivated by the individual’s protected status. For a detailed process about Discrimination and Harassment Complaints, please refer to Complaint Procedure 300 found in the Student Handbook.

3.3 Stalking

Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: 1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or 2) suffer substantial emotional distress.  For the purposes of this definition:

(i) Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

(ii) Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

(iii) Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Stalking may be physical, such as following another person in a vehicle, and it may be electronic, such as making direct or implied threats by phone or electronic message. Stalking also may include leaving unwanted objects for the reporting party at the reporting party’s home, car or workplace.

3.4 Disruption

Conduct that impairs, interferes with, or obstructs the orderly educational processes and functions of the College, including teaching, studying, research, College administration, public-service functions and extracurricular activities. The prohibition applies to acts that occur whether inside or outside the classroom setting. In campus locations outside the classroom, faculty members and professional staff members are authorized to take appropriate remedial action upon observing a student engaging in conduct that violates this Code (e.g., requesting a student to cease disruptive behavior). The faculty member or staff member shall identify himself or herself to the student.

3.4.1 Engaging in activities that materially or substantially interfere with the activities of other members of the College community, that cause substantial disorder, or that disrupt the regular operation of College activities or instruction.

3.4.2 Inciting and/or participating in campus demonstrations which materially or substantially disrupt the normal operations or activities of the College.

3.4.3 Obstructing or impeding reasonable access of movement by pedestrians or vehicles on campus.

3.4.4 Using a cell phone or other electronic device in class in a manner that is disruptive to the teaching/learning environment. Students may be subject to permanent removal from class for violating a previous directive to refrain from using such devices.

3.4.5 Classroom behavior that interferes with (i) the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or (ii) another student’s ability to receive information from the instructor or to benefit from the program. A faculty member may temporarily remove a student from his/her classroom for the remainder of the class whenever the student is disrupting the class to a point that there is no longer a meaningful learning environment.

3.4.6 Violating the College’s policy on free expression. (See Right to Freedom of Inquiry and Expression under Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Student Handbook).

3.4.7 Engaging in conduct that interferes with or obstructs the student disciplinary process.

3.5 Hazing

Prohibited acts for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition of continued membership in a group or organization or as part of any activity of a recognized student organization or student group includes any act that inflicts or intends to inflict physical or mental harm or discomfort or which may demean, disgrace, or degrade any person, regardless of location, intent, or consent of participant(s). Although hazing is related to a person’s initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any student group or organization, a hazing charge may be upheld even without direct proof that a person’s initiation or continued membership is contingent upon participation in the activity. In addition to violating this code of conduct, hazing also is a violation of Texas law (Texas Education Code § 37.151 and 51.936). Hazing includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Striking a student, abandoning a student in an unfamiliar location, blindfolding a student or tying a student’s hands or planning hazing activities to be performed by others.
  2. Forced consumption of any food, alcohol, drugs or any other substance.
  3. Forced physical activity, such as calisthenics.
  4. Deprivation of food or sleep.
  5. Any activity that is intended to subject the individual to embarrassment or humiliation.

3.6 Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence and Domestic Violence

It is the policy of San Jacinto College to provide a campus environment free of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other behaviors of a sexual nature that are hostile, unwelcome or intimidating. The definitions within this Code are not intended to be mutually exclusive and, in some instances, the definitions may overlap. For example, an act of sexual assault may constitute sexual harassment, while an act of dating violence also may constitute a sexual assault. In the event of overlapping definitions, this Code of Conduct shall be construed to provide students with the maximum protection required by law. The prohibitions in the Code of Student Conduct encompass conduct occurring as part of a College activity or program. Conduct that occurs off-campus also is encompassed by these rules if the conduct creates a sexually hostile environment on campus or in a College activity or program or adversely affects another student’s educational opportunities at the College.

3.6.1 Consent

Consent: Consent is a clear, knowing, and voluntary permission by words or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is communicated through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate willingness by all of the involved parties to engage in the same sexual activity, at the same time, and in the same way.  A current or previous dating or sexual relationship by itself is not sufficient to establish consent.  Additionally, consent can be withdrawn at any time.  Ideally, consent is given verbally; however, consent (or lack of consent) also may be expressed through gestures and body language.
Consent is not effective if it results from: (a) the use of physical force or restraint; (b) a threat of physical force; (c) acts of intimidation; (d) acts of coercion; (e) incapacitation (including through the voluntary or involuntary ingestion of alcohol or controlled substances); or (f) other evidence that shows that the individual’s ability to exercise his or her own free will was eliminated on the occasion in question.  Specific examples of those who cannot give consent include but are not limited to:

  1. The individual is under the age of 17 and is not the spouse of the actor;
  2. The individual is unconscious or asleep;
  3. The other person has not consented to the sexual act with the actor and the actor knows the other person is unaware that the sexual act is occurring;
  4. The individual is impaired due to ingestion of a substance such as drugs or alcohol;
  5. The actor compels another to submit to or participate in a sexual act by using physical force or violence against the other person or by threatening to use force or violence against another person;
  6. The other person is mentally impaired or has a mental disability; or
  7. The actor has misrepresented or concealed his or her true identity to the individual.

3.6.2 Sexual Harassment

“Sexual harassment” includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, unwelcome verbal comments of a sexual nature and unwelcome physical contact or touching of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is wrongful regardless of whether the parties are of the same sex or of the opposite sex. Sexual harassment occurs when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of employment, instruction or participation in other College activities;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for personnel or academic decisions that affect the individual who has been subjected to sexual advances; and/or
  3. Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work on academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment.

Whether sexual harassment has occurred depends on a totality of the circumstances, including the severity and frequency of the conduct.

The definition of sexual harassment also encompasses gender-based harassment, such as actions or comments that target a student’s failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.

Examples of prohibited sexual harassment include sexually offensive comments and gestures; requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment; requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats of adverse consequences if the recipient does not comply; unwanted flirtation or repeated requests for social/sexual encounters or favors the recipient deems unwelcome; slurs and name-calling; graffiti, pictures or posters of a sexual nature; suggestive or unwelcome physical contact, such as grabbing, touching or patting; sending offensive emails or text messages; leering, simulating sexual activity or pointing to a person’s intimate body parts; and acts of sexual violence, including sexual assault, sexual coercion and rape.

3.6.3 “Sexual Assault” and “Aggravated Sexual Assault”

“Sexual assault” is defined as intentionally or knowingly causing physical sexual contact or sexual penetration of another person without that person’s consent. “Sexual contact” includes any touching of the anus, breast or any part of the genitals of another person with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. Sexual assault is without consent of the other person (see definition of Consent in Section 3.6.1).

“Aggravated sexual assault” is defined as sexual assault in which the actor causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the reporting party or another person in the course of the same criminal episode. Other factors may cause an assault to become an aggravated assault, including actions or words that place the reporting party in imminent fear that the reporting party or another person will be killed or subjected to serious bodily injury or kidnapping. Aggravated sexual assault also occurs when the actor uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode; when the actor acts in concert with another who commits a sexual assault directed toward the same reporting party and occurs during the same criminal episode; or when the actor assaults a reporting party who is younger than 14 years of age or who is an elderly or a disabled individual.

A “sexual offense” may constitute sexual assault even if no force was used during the offense and even if the reporting party experienced no physical injury.

3.6.4 Dating Violence

Under federal law, the term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person:

  1.  who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the reporting party; and
  2.  where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
    •  the length of the relationship, 
    •  the nature of the relationship,
    •  the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a “dating relationship.”  San Jacinto College will consider the reporting party’s characterization of the relationship when making a determination whether an act of violence is “dating” violence.

Under Texas law, “dating violence” means an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that is committed against a reporting party:

  1. with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or
  2. because of the reporting party’s marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage;

and that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the reporting party in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault.

3.6.5 Domestic Violence

The term “domestic violence” refers to a pattern of abusive behavior between two individuals formerly or currently in an intimate relationship, including through marriage, cohabitation, dating or within a familial or household arrangement. Abuse may be in the form of physical assault, sexual assault, bodily injury, emotional distress, physical endangerment or when the imminent threat of any of these instances puts the reporting party in fear of their occurrence.

Under Texas law, domestic violence or domestic assault occurs when the actor commits an assault against a family member, household member, or a current or past dating partner. The offense occurs when the actor intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person or threatens another person with imminent bodily injury. It also occurs when the actor intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another that the actor knows or reasonably should know the reporting party will find provocative or offensive. A person commits aggravated domestic assault if he or she intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a family member, household member, or a current or past dating partner, or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of committing the assault crime. Domestic violence does not include defensive measures to protect oneself. The term domestic violence also may encompass “dating violence” as defined in the Texas Family Code.

Under Texas law, domestic violence also may constitute family violence, which is defined as ”an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself. The term also encompasses:

  1.  child abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child in the family as defined in Section 261.001 of the Texas Family Code and
  2.  dating violence as defined by Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code.

Under federal law, “domestic violence” encompasses a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed:

  1. by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the reporting party;
  2. by a person with whom the reporting party shares a child in common;
  3. by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the reporting party as a spouse or intimate partner;
  4. by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the reporting party under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred;
  5. by any other person against an adult or youth reporting party who is protected from that person’s acts under the laws of the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.

“Domestic violence” encompasses acts that one might not characterize as violent in a non-domestic context. Additionally, domestic violence requires more than just two people living together; the individuals must be spouses or have an intimate relationship.

3.6.6 Obscene, Lewd or Indecent Behavior

Obscene, lewd or indecent behavior includes but is not limited to, exposure of one’s sexual organs or the display of sexually-oriented and/or obscene materials to a third party or in a public place on campus.

3.6.7 Sexual Misconduct

“Sexual misconduct” is behavior or conduct of a sexual nature that is unprofessional and/or inappropriate for an educational environment. This category encompasses:

  1. conduct of a sexual nature that is objectively offensive but that may not be sufficient to satisfy the legal definitions of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or domestic violence, and
  2. conduct of a sexual nature that is consensual between two or more parties but that is nonetheless inappropriate in an educational environment, such as engaging in sexual activity on campus or displaying sexually oriented objects or materials in the presence of third parties while on campus.

3.7 Dishonesty

Cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or other forms of academic dishonesty fall within the jurisdiction of the Instructional Affairs Division. See the Student Handbook for detailed explanation of academic dishonesty and violations.

3.7.1 Making, possessing, or using any falsified College documents or records; altering any College document or record, including identification cards; providing false information on an admissions application or financial aid application; providing false information to College officials, faculty members or College offices, including disciplinary hearing bodies; intentionally withholding material information from College officials; making a false report to College police.

3.7.2 Knowingly passing insufficient fund checks or fraudulent money orders in payment of any financial obligation to the College.

3.7.3 Falsely claiming to represent the College or a registered student organization of the College.

3.7.4 Impersonating another student, employee or community member while attempting to conduct college business, including but not limited to email, phone or in-person transactions, or accessing any college-related systems.

3.7.5 Soliciting money from another student or students under the false claim of needing financial assistance for a family member or friend.

3.7.6 Stealing or misappropriating of registered student organization funds.

3.7.7 Misrepresenting facts for academic advantage, including, but not limited to, providing false grades or resumes; providing false or misleading information in an effort to receive a postponement or an extension on a test, quiz or other assignment for the purpose of obtaining an academic or financial benefit for oneself or another individual; and providing false or misleading information in an effort to injure another student academically or financially.

3.7.8 Using unauthorized, unapproved notes during a test, knowingly copying or obtaining information from another student during a test, or dishonesty of any kind during a test, including placement testing, that occurs in any of the College Testing Centers or at off-site testing labs for the purpose of completing a testing requirement for the College.

3.8 Firearms, Fireworks, Explosives, Weapons

Possessing, using or storing firearms, prohibited weapons, ammunition, fireworks, dangerous chemicals, incendiary devices or explosives on College-controlled property or at College events or programs, or violations of the College’s Campus Carry Policies and Procedures, except as may be authorized by the College’s Campus Carry Policies and Procedures, College administration, or by federal, state or local law or regulations. Prohibited weapons include but are not limited to firearms that one carries without proper licensing or that one carries in non-conformance with the College’s Campus Carry Policies and Procedures or state/federal law, pellet guns, sling shots, martial arts devices, switchblades, explosive weapons, or other types of knives and clubs. For more information, please visit sanjac.edu/campus-carry.

3.9 Alcohol and Substance Use

3.9.1 Possessing, using, distributing, manufacturing or selling alcohol, dangerous drugs, controlled substances or drug paraphernalia on College property or at College-authorized or College-sponsored activities, even if the activity is not conducted on campus.

3.9.2 Over-the-counter drugs are not prohibited when taken in standard dosages or as prescribed by a physician. Prescription drugs are not prohibited when taken by the person to whom the drugs were prescribed and in accordance with the physician’s prescription. The non-standard or unauthorized use of over-the-counter and prescription drugs is strictly prohibited. It is a violation of the College’s policy for a student to intentionally misuse and/or abuse prescription medication. Misuse and/or abuse includes taking a medication prescribed for another person or taking a medication in an amount or in a manner that was not prescribed, or attempting to share or sell medication to another person.

3.9.3 Failing to pass a standard drug test required as part of an instructional or other College-affiliated program, in which the student is a participant.

3.9.4 Alcohol possession or usage, regardless of age, is strictly prohibited at any on or off-campus, College-authorized or College-sponsored activity or during College-sponsored travel.

3.10 Fire and Safety

3.10.1 Removal, damage or unauthorized tampering with or activation of fire, safety or any emergency warning equipment, including but not limited to fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and emergency exits.

3.10.2 Falsely reporting bombs, fires or other emergencies to a College official.

3.11 Gambling

Gambling of any form on College property or at a College sanctioned event is prohibited.

3.12 Property Violations

3.12.1 Vandalizing, damaging, destroying or defacing public or private property on College premises or at a College-sponsored activity; littering.

3.12.2 Stealing; attempted theft; or the unauthorized removal, borrowing, or use of any College property or the property of others.

3.12.3 Trespassing and/or unauthorized presence in any College building or at a College-sponsored activity.

3.13 Misuse of Computing Resources, Technology, Cell Phones or Cameras

3.13.1 Unauthorized access or entry into a College computer, computer system, networks, software or data.

3.13.2 Unauthorized alteration of College computer equipment, software, network or data.

3.13.3 Unauthorized copying or distribution of computer software or data.

3.13.4 Use of computing facilities and resources that interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or College official.

3.13.5 Viewing, downloading or printing pornographic materials, photographs or videos is strictly prohibited on College premises.

3.13.6 Use of College computing facilities and resources to send obscene or defamatory messages.

3.13.7 Any violation of the College’s written computer use guidelines.

3.13.8 Unauthorized accessing of College telephones to change a voice mail greeting.

3.13.9 Sending an email or text message using an email address or phone number belonging to another person with the intent to cause the recipient to reasonably believe that the other person sent or authorized the communication.

3.13.10 Forwarding confidential information without authorization.

3.13.11 Taking an unauthorized photo of confidential information, such as a test answer key, confidential student records, confidential health records, or confidential financial information or account numbers.

3.13.12 Using a cell phone or other recording device to make an unauthorized recording of another person’s intimate body areas or of another person who is undressing or using restroom facilities.

3.13.13 Using a cell phone or other recording device to copy another student’s academic work.

3.13.14 Using a recording device to secretly record a conversation to which the student is not a party.

3.14 Failure to Comply

3.14.1 Failure or refusal to comply with an administrative summons or directive of a College official, including campus police officers, acting in the course of their employment.

3.14.2 Failure to present identification upon the request of a College official.

3.14.3 Conduct that is intended to hinder or obstruct enforcement of this code of conduct.

3.15 Other Violations

3.15.1 Violation of published College policies, rules, regulations including, but not limited to parking, animals on campus, smoking, solicitation, distribution of literature and campus posting rules, all of which can be found in the Student Handbook.

3.15.2 Violation of federal, state or local laws.

3.15.3 Aiding or abetting any violation of federal law, state law or local ordinance.

3.15.4 Violation of a conduct rule published in a handbook applicable to a program in which the student is enrolled.

3.16 Retaliation

Retaliation against an individual who has brought a complaint under this Code or with a state or federal agency and/or who has participated in an investigation of such complaint. The definition of “retaliation” refers to actions that are materially adverse, which means that the action is the type that would dissuade a reasonable student or witness from exercising their rights under this handbook or under the law. 

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 of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct or who participates in an investigation pertaining to a complaint of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct. 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.