“Tarrant County College provides affordable and open access to quality teaching and learning.” The Student Code of Conduct is designed to promote and protect an environment that encourages reasoned discourse, integrity, intellectual honesty, openness to constructive change, and respect for the rights and responsibilities of all individuals. The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct is to set forth the specific authority and responsibility of the College in maintaining social discipline, to establish guidelines that facilitate a just and civil campus community, and to outline an educational process for determining student/organization responsibility for alleged violations of college regulations. This student conduct process will follow established procedures for ensuring fundamental fairness and an educational experience that facilitates the development of the individual and of the student/organization.
The College Student Code of Conduct shall be used to address any student/organization conduct alleged to have violated a College policy or any local, state or federal law. The Student Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on College premises, at College-sponsored activities, and off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student/organization shall be responsible for the student’s conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree (and even if their conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded). The Student Code of Conduct shall apply to a student’s behavior even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending, are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the College or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission. Alleged violations of federal, state and (or) local laws may be investigated and addressed under the Student Code of Conduct. Should alleged incident(s) violate both College regulations and law, this may result in the application of student conduct procedures in addition to any criminal proceedings.
Proof of the alleged misconduct must include evidence that meets the criteria for determining a “preponderance of evidence.” A preponderance of evidence means a greater weight of evidence or more likely than not. Even in cases that make reference to federal, state, or local criminal statutes or ordinances, the burden of proof in College District conduct proceedings remains as a preponderance of evidence.
Any individual may submit a report regarding an alleged violation of College policies and rules or other types of misconduct within a reasonable time frame following an incident.
For instances involving reports of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation targeting students, including claims against other students, employees, and third parties, see DIAA or FFDA, as appropriate. For instances involving reports of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation involving other protected characteristics, see FFDB.
The College’s student conduct procedures may involve up to three steps, as noted below:
Step 1: Preliminary Investigation
Step 2: Administrative Conference
Step 3: Appeal (if requested)
ARTICLE I: DEFINITIONS
- The term “advisor” means any person selected by a complainant or respondent to assist with giving support and resources before, during, and/ or after the conduct process. Advisors may not directly participate, speak, comment, or make any type of representation or argument on behalf of the party they are advising. The availability of an advisor shall not unreasonably interfere or delay the conduct process.
- The term “College” means Tarrant County College and its affiliates.
- The term “College official” includes any person employed by the College.
- The term “College premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the College and/or its affiliates (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
- The term “complainant” means any individual, group, or organization who was subject to alleged misconduct as described in any College policy or any person who submits a referral alleging that a respondent violated College policy. There may be more than one complainant for an incident.
- The term “disciplinary sanction(s)” means an assigned consequence for violating a college rule, and/or policy.
- The term “due process” is providing fair treatment to all parties in the disciplinary processes.
- The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the College to conduct classroom or teaching activities, or who is otherwise considered by the College to be a member of its faculty.
- The term “preliminary investigation” is an inquiry to determine if an allegation merits the student conduct process.
- The term “preponderance of evidence” means enough proof has been presented to show the behavior/incident more likely than not occurred.
- The term “postpone” means to cause or arrange for something to take place later than was first scheduled.
- The term “referral body” is anyone or group, if applicable, that assists in the reporting of behavior(s) that may have violated College policy.
- The term “respondent” means any student, student group, or registered student organization who has been reported for allegedly violating College policy. There may be more than one respondent for an incident. In incidents involving student groups or registered student organizations, the president, director, team captain, or other member of student leadership will participate in the student conduct process on behalf of the group or organization. Student groups and organizations may not be represented by non-students, alumni, inactive members, or coaches in the student conduct process; however, such individuals may be selected by a student group or organization to serve in the role of advisor in the student conduct process.
- The term “conduct authority” means any person or persons given the authority to facilitate or participate in the student conduct process including, but not limited to: the conduct administrator, conduct officer, and/or the vice president of student development services.
- The term “member of the college community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, College Official or any other person employed (including third-party venders) by the College.
- The term “official college communication” means that the students’ assigned Tarrant County College (TCCD) email is the official method in which all conduct correspondence will be communicated.
- The term “policy” means the written regulations of the College as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct, the Student Handbook, and the College web page.
- The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the College, either full-time or part-time, credit or noncredit seeking, certificate, associate, technical, professional studies, or attending an educational program sponsored by the College. Persons who withdraw from the College after allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the College or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered “students.”
- The term “administrative conference” means a formal meeting (conference) with the respondent. Normally, the respondent must appear in person for the conference, but a request to waive this requirement, under certain circumstances, may be considered.
- The term “conduct administrator” means the director of student conduct & prevention education, deputy Title IX coordinator or a college designee is responsible for the oversight of the student conduct administrative conference including, but not limited to issuing outcomes.
- The term “administrative investigator” means the director of student conduct & prevention education, deputy Title IX coordinator or a college designee that will serve as the conduct case investigator and student conduct process facilitator. In most cases, the administrative investigator will be from the campus where the alleged incident occurred.
- The term “student group” means any number of persons who are associated with the College and each other, but who have not registered, or are not required to register, as a student organization that conducts business or participates in College-related activities. Student groups include, but are not limited to, a student activities council, musical or theatrical ensembles, sport clubs, or group of student employees.
- The term “recognized student organization” (RSO) means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for College recognition, or any number of persons comprised of students who use College facilities or services; or any club or organization, which identifies itself with the College and presents student programs or activities in the College community.
- The term “College meeting” means any request to meet with an individual named in a referral for the purpose of gathering information for a preliminary investigation, inquiring about information received or for an administrative conference. College meetings will be requested and confirmed via official college communication.
- The term “witness” means an individual who is requested to participate in a student conduct procedure because that individual may have information about the alleged misconduct. Witness names may be provided by the complainant, respondent, or others with knowledge of the matter.
ARTICLE II: STUDENT CODE AUTHORITY
- The director of student conduct & prevention education at each campus shall insure that the Student Code of Conduct procedures are carried out according to TCC Board Policy.
- The student conduct administrator at each campus shall insure that students receive due process, including the right to appeal any decision and/or sanction(s) to the campus vice president of student development services according to TCC Board Policy.
- The student conduct authority shall develop procedures and training for the administration of the student conduct system and procedural rules that are consistent with provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.
- Decisions made by the appellate officer shall be final should the conduct case rise to that level.
Conduct-Rules and Regulations
Any respondent found to have committed, or to have attempted to commit, any of the following misconduct actions is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in this handbook.
ARTICLE III: PRESCRIBED CONDUCT DEFINITIONS
As members of the College community all students, student groups, and student organizations are expected to display respect for the rights of themselves and others and to be accountable for their behavior choices.
It is a violation of this Code for any student, student group, or student organization to engage in behavior that aids, attempts, assists, promotes, condones, encourages, requires, conceals, or facilitates any act prohibited by this Code. Allowing, permitting, or providing an opportunity for a guest to violate College policy is also prohibited. These violations are included in each section below and need not be cited separately. Lack of familiarity with College policy is not a defense to a violation of this Code. Unless specifically noted in the policy definition, intent is not a required element to establish a policy violation. Additionally, intoxication or impairment from alcohol, drugs, or other substances is not a defense to a violation of this Code.
The following list describes actions that detract from the effectiveness of the College community, but does not include constitutionally protected activity.
Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person FLB(LOCAL).
Use, consumption, possession, furnishing, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by the College), open containers, or public intoxication is prohibited. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one (21) years of age FLBE(LOCAL) FLBE(LEGAL).
Animals on campus are prohibited with the exception of service animals. Any exceptions should be directed to the Vice President for Student Development Services or designee FAA(LEGAL).
Bullying can be defined as the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. TCC takes bullying seriously, and students should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported. Bullying will not be tolerated. Examples of bullying include but are not limited to:
- Emotional: Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures);
- Physical: Pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence;
- Racial: Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures;
- Sexual: Unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments;
- Homophobic: Because of, or focusing on the issue of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression;
- Verbal: Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors, teasing; and
- Cyber: The use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group that it is intended to harm others; this includes all areas of the Internet, such as email and Internet chat room misuse, mobile threats by text messaging and calls, and misuse of associated technology such as camera and video facilities FFE(LOCAL).
- Cheating is the improper collaboration or unauthorized assistance in connection with any academic work. Prohibited behaviors includes, but is not limited to:
- Copying another individual’s or group’s academic work.
- Receiving and utilizing academic work for purposes of fulfilling an academic requirement.
- Receiving or attempting to receive payment services or academic credit under false pretense.
- Completing any academic work for someone else or permitting someone else to complete academic work on your behalf.
- Using any bribe or unauthorized aid (e.g., outside source, cell phone, calculator, notes, previous testing materials) FLB(LOCAL).
- College Policies
Violation of any College policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on the College website.
Collusion is the assisting or attempting to assist another in any violation of an academic nature. Prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to:
Sharing academic work with another student (either in person or electronically) without the permission of the instructor
Communicating (either in person or electronically) with another student(s) or other individual(s) during an examination without the permission of the instructor FLB(LOCAL).
- Computer and Network Violations
Theft or other abuse of computer facilities and resources FLB(LOCAL). Violations include but are not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose;
- Unauthorized transfer of a file;
- Use of another individual’s identification and/or password;
- Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or College Official;
- Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages;
- Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the normal operation of the College computing system;
- Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws; and
- Any violation of the College Computer Use Policy.
- Conduct System Abuse
Abuse of the Student Conduct System, FLB(LOCAL). Conduct System Abuse includes, but not limited to:
- Failure to comply with the notice from a Student Conduct Authority to appear for a meeting or other component of the student conduct process;
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information as part of a student conduct process;
- Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Student Conduct proceeding;
- Instituting the student conduct process without true cause;
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the student conduct process;
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Student Conduct Authority prior to, and/or during the course of, the student conduct code proceeding;
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a Student Conduct Authority prior to, during, and/or after a student conduct code proceeding;
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code of Conduct;
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the Student Conduct process; and
- Plagiarism of an educational student conduct sanction.
- Dangerous Items/Weapons
The possession of firearms, explosives and other weapons or dangerous chemicals on College premises is an illegal offense in accordance with Texas Penal Code. In addition, the use of any such item on College premises and/or at College sponsored events in a manner that harms, causes bodily injury, threatens, or causes fear to others constitutes an offense even if the item is legally possessed. The following are prohibited:
All weapons listed in the Texas Penal Code including but not limited to:
- Firearms (other than concealed with license) and explosive weapons;
- Machine guns;
- Short-barreled firearms;
- Firearm silencer;
- Armor-piercing ammunition;
- Chemical dispensing devices;
- Zip gun; and
- Tire deflators.
Weapons considered dangerous on College premises include but are not limited to:
- Any type of BB pellet gun;
- Paint gun;
- Realistic facsimile of a weapon or any counterfeit item;
- Stun gun and/or taser weapon;
- Paint pellets and cartridge;
- Switch blades or any blade more than three inches;
- Bows and arrows with exception of archery classes;
- Martial arts weapons;
- Slingshots and water balloon launchers;
- Explosive devices and fireworks; and
- Dangerous chemicals or other hazardous materials.
For more information on the Texas Penal Code visit: CHF(LOCAL/LEGAL).
For more information on Campus Carry visit the College website.
- Dating Violence
Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s/complainant’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Acts of dishonesty FLB(LOCAL). Dishonesty includes, but not limited to the following:
- Furnishing false information to any College Official, faculty member, or office;
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College document, record, or instrument of identification;
- Tampering with any College election process.
- Disorderly Conduct
Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on College premises or at functions sponsored by the College or members of the academic community. Disorderly Conduct includes but is not limited to: consensual physical fighting and/or assault, or disturbing the peace FLB(LOCAL).
Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, student conduct 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 FLB(LEGAL) and DGA(LEGAL).
- Domestic Violence
Violence committed by:
- A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
- A person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
- A person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as spouse or intimate partner;
- Any other member of the victim’s family as defined by state law;
- Any other current or former member of the victim’s household as defined by state law;
- A person in a dating relationship with the victim as defined by state law; or
- Any other person who acts against the victim in violation of the family violence laws of this state or the jurisdiction where the conduct occurs.
- Electronic Media Violations
Inappropriate use of College computers and computing resources. Inappropriate use includes, but not limited to:
- Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on College premises without his/her prior knowledge, or without his/her effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom;
- Anonymous or forged e-mail messages;
- Unauthorized attempts to access another person’s e-mail or similar electronic communications;
- Use of another’s name, e-mail or computer address or workstation to send e-mail or similar electronic communications;
- Use of System e-mail or other network resources for commercial purposes or for personal financial gain;
- Access to a restricted computing resource without authorization or use for purposes beyond the authorization;
- Transmission of copyrighted materials, without the written permission of the author or creator, through System e-mail or other network resources in violation of U.S. copyright law;
- Use of computing resources used in a manner that disrupts the work or educational environment;
- Intentional use of System computing resources to store, download, upload, display, print or e-mail computer images that constitute “obscene materials” as defined by Section 43.21 of the Texas Penal Code and that are not directly related to or required for a specific educational course or research project directly related to an educational program;
- The display or transmission of messages, images, cartoons or other messages or images that are sexually explicit or that demean a person on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, gender, national origin, disability, and/or religion, may constitute prohibited harassment under System policies;
- Upload or download of unauthorized materials to any System server; and
- Sharing of an account, password or other authentication device that was provided to permit access to restricted computing resources. (ACCEPTABLE USE GUIDELINES FOR COMPUTING AND TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES) and (POLICY FLB (LOCAL).
- Endangerment of Person(s)
Conducting oneself in a manner that initially threatens or endangers the health or safety of a person, other members or visitors within the college community or at college sponsored or related events is prohibited. This includes threats of suicide made in jest FLB(LOCAL).
- Failure to Comply
Failure to comply with directions of College Officials or law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so. Students who fail to comply with directions or requests of College Officials, including, but not limited to student volunteers and student employees, or contract service vendors acting in performance of their duties, may be referred to the student conduct process. Students who willfully resist, delay, or obstruct College Officials in the discharge or attempts to discharge the duty of their office or employment will also be referred to the student conduct process FLB(LOCAL).
- False Alarm or Report
False alarm or false report occurs when a person knowingly initiates, communicates, or circulates a report of a present, past, or future bombing, fire, offense, or other emergency that he or she knows is false or baseless and that would ordinarily:
- Cause action by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
- Place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
- Prevent or interrupt the occupation of a building, room, or place of assembly; or
- Fire alarm silencer means any device designed, made, or adapted to muffle the fire alarm FLB(LOCAL).
Falsification is the misrepresenting or misleading others with respect to academic work. Prohibited behaviors includes, but is not limited to:
- Signing in for another student who is not in attendance, or requesting this action.
- Misrepresenting one’s identity, or requesting this action, in an academic setting.
- Interfering with an instructor’s ability to evaluate accurately a student’s competency or performance on any academic work.
- Fabrication of documents submitted in connection with academic work.
- Listing incorrect or fictitious references.
- Tampering with grades FLB(LOCAL).
- Fire Safety and Equipment
The following behaviors are prohibited:
- Causing a false alarm, arson, tampering with the fire alarm system, smoke detectors, sprinkler system, emergency exits, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, exit signs, and other equipment are federal offenses;
- Failing to evacuate a College building during fire and/or emergency alarms or re-entering the building before the all clear sign is given;
- Possessing and/or using candles, incense, oil lamps, helium tanks, and other combustible and/or flame producing items in any campus area or building;
- Possessing and/or using of fireworks, CO2 cartridges, explosives, chemicals and other hazardous materials; and
- Attaching excessive wall coverings or other items to walls and/or ceilings. CHF and FLB(LOCAL)
Students are expected to abide by federal and state laws prohibiting illegal gambling. Prohibited activity includes, but is not limited to: betting on, wagering on, or selling pools on any event; possessing on one’s person or premises, any card, book or other device for registering bets; knowingly permitting the use of one’s premises or one’s telephone or other electronic event; and involvement in bookmaking or wagering pools with respect to the events. Gaming events, including but not limited to casino nights and poker events, are prohibited without the authorization of the Vice President for Student Development Services or his/her designee FLB[LOCAL].
Engaging in behavior that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to threaten an individual or substantially interfere with the individual’s employment, education or access to College programs, activities or opportunities, and such behavior would detrimentally affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances. Behaviors that meet the above definition may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Directing physical or verbal conduct at an individual because of the individual’s age, race, color, gender, ancestry, national origin, religion, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, gender identity;
- Subjecting a person or group of persons to unwanted physical contact or threat of such; and
- Engaging in a course of conduct, including following the person without proper authority (e.g., stalking), under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or to suffer emotional distress. FFDA and FFDB(LOCAL)
Hazing is defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of this rule FLBC(LEGAL).
All students and guests are required to provide their name and show appropriate identification to a College Official upon request. Students must carry their Tarrant County College identification with them at all times when on College property or at College functions. Guests must carry a driver’s license, or other government-issued identification at all times. FLA(LOCAL) and FLB(LOCAL)
The following behaviors are also prohibited:
- Falsely identifying oneself to others; and
- Possession, production, or distribution of false identification cards, or materials to fabricate such, is illegal and strictly prohibited. Any false identification cards found to be in the possession of students or guests will be confiscated, destroyed, and may result in a citation from the governing Police authority.
- Illegal Substances/Drugs
Use, possession, sale, manufacturing, transmission, distribution, or attempts to do any of these previous acts, of narcotics or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law. Any drugs and or paraphernalia found to be in the students’ possession will be considered to be the students’ possession whether or not he/she has purchased or furnished the items in question. This definition applies, but is not limited to the following:
- Being under the influence of, any controlled substance or dangerous drug as defined by law, aerosol paint, or any other volatile chemical substance for inhalation, performance-enhancing substance including steroids, any designer drug, or any intoxicant or mood-changing, mind-altering, or behavior-altering drug.
- Illegal or improper use of prescription medicines including steroids. All prescription medicines must be kept in their original bottle and must have the prescription from the doctor noted on the bottle.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia, including but not limited to: water pipes, scales, needles, clips, rolling papers, bongs etc.; any device that may be associated with drug use, regardless of whether it is purchased or handmade, even as props for filming.
- Legal substances used in an improper manner (e.g. ingesting a cleaning chemical, inhaling other chemical substances for the purpose of intoxication) FLBE(LOCAL).
Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any College premise or unauthorized entry to or exit use of any College premises CS(LEGAL).
- Lewd and Indecent Behavior
- Urinating in areas other than toilets and urinals (including lawns, lounges, elevators, stairwells, balconies, parking lots, etc.);
- Public nudity;
- Sexual contact in a public or common area; and
- Public viewing or displaying of pornography CR(LOCAL) and FLA(LOCAL).
- Minors on Campus
From time to time, classes and activities are offered at TCC for minor children. On these occasions, children are permitted to participate in these opportunities. At no time are children permitted to be left unattended on any campus or property owned or controlled by TCC GDA(LOCAL).
Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on College premises or at College-sponsored or supervised functions FLB(LOCAL).
Plagiarism is the use of work or ideas without proper acknowledgment of source. Prohibited behaviors includes, but is not limited to:
- Partial or incomplete citation of work or ideas.
- Improperly paraphrasing by acknowledging the source but failing to present the material in one’s own words.
- Paraphrasing without acknowledgment of the source.
- Multiple submissions of the same or substantially the same academic work for academic credit.
- Copying, partially or entirely, any material without acknowledgment of the source FLB(LOCAL).
- Property Damage
Destruction, damage, misuse and or defacing of College, personal, or public property is prohibited FLA(LOCAL) and FLB(LOCAL).
The College will not tolerate retaliation. Retaliation against any person or group who makes a complaint, cooperates with an investigation, or participates in a resolution process is a violation of College policy. Retaliation can take many forms, including continued abuse or violence, bullying, threats, and intimidation. Any individual or group of individuals, not just a complainant or respondent, can engage in retaliation. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Student Conduct Administrator and may result in disciplinary action independent of any sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegation of misconduct.
- Right to Assemble/Public Demonstration
Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot or activity that disrupts the normal operations of the College and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the College community; and leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area FLA(LEGAL).
- Sexual Violence
Sexual contact or intercourse with a person without the person’s consent, including sexual contact or intercourse against the person’s will or in a circumstance in which the person is incapable of consenting to the contact or intercourse.
- Sexual Harassment
Unwelcomed, sex-based verbal or physical conduct that:
- In the employment context, unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; or
- In the education context, is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that the conduct interferes with a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities.
Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purpose of this definition:
- “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.
- “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
- Theft/Possession of Stolen Property or Service
Engaging in the taking, misappropriation, or possession of College property or the property of another including anything of value, goods, services, funds, and/or other valuables or possession of property that can be reasonably determined to have been stolen. FLB(LOCAL)
- Tobacco Use/Smoking/E-Cigarette/Vaping Devices
The use of tobacco products or e-cigarette/vaping devices shall be prohibited on College grounds and in College buildings, facilities, vehicles and spaces leased by the College. The use of tobacco products or e-cigarette/vaping devices shall be permitted in private vehicles parked on College property provided any residue is retained within the vehicle. FLBD(LOCAL) and GDA (LOCAL)
Engaging in the misuse of access privileges or unauthorized access or entry to any College property, building, structure, or facility.
Violation of Law
Tarrant County College upholds all federal, state and local laws and considers violation of these laws on College property or at any function authorized by the College even if held off campus as a cause for disciplinary action in addition to any action that might be taken by our criminal justice system.
The following behaviors are prohibited:
- Any act of violence or threat of violence; and
- All physical abuse including physical assault and/or battery as well as any domestic disputes, dating violence, hate crimes, and/or child abuse FFE(LOCAL) and FLB(LOCAL).
- Violation of Law, College Discipline, College Policies
All students/organizations and their guests must adhere to all College policies. The following are options that may be pursued against students/organizations and their guests who fail to follow College policies:
- College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and the Student Code of Conduct (that is, if both possible violations result from the same factual situation) without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of the Student Conduct Administrator;
- When a student is charged by federal, state, or local authorities with a violation of law, the College will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also being processed under the Student Code of Conduct, the College may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Student Code of Conduct and of how such matters are typically handled within the College community. The College will attempt to cooperate with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal law on campus and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators (provided that the conditions do not conflict with campus rules or sanctions). Individual students and other members of the College community, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives, as they deem appropriate; and
- Any violation of posted college policy including but not limited to solicitation FM(LOCAL).
ARTICLE VI: ADMINISTRATIVE CONDUCT PROCEDURES
Any member of the College District community, including but not limited to students, faculty, administrators, staff, and others shall be permitted to submit a report regarding a respondent for an alleged violation of College policies and rules or other types of misconduct.
For instances involving reports of sexual and/or gender-based misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual violence (nonconsensual sexual contact and nonconsensual sexual intercourse) sexual assault, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, aiding or facilitating the commission of a violation and retaliation targeting students, including claims against other students, employees, and third parties, see FFDA. For instances involving reports of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation involving other protected characteristics, see FFDB.
The College’s administrative conduct procedures may involve up to three steps, as noted below:
While the administrative conduct procedures set forth in this document do not constitute legal proceedings, the College seeks to provide involved parties with due process as required by law. Any involved party needing accommodations for administrative conduct proceedings should submit requests to the administrative investigator.
Reports of Alleged Policy Violation(s)
Reports of alleged policy violation(s) shall be submitted to the administrative investigator within a reasonable time frame following an incident. The reports may be submitted in writing, through the online reporting form and should include relevant information and facts.
Notice to Respondent
The administrative investigator shall provide written notice to the respondent via e-mail within ten (10) College business days, unless extenuating circumstances exist. The responsibility to cooperate with the administrative conduct procedures is not eliminated by failure to check College e-mail.
The written notice to the respondent shall include all of the following:
- A description of the alleged behavior reported including the date, time, and location, when available;
- The specific College policy/policies the respondent may have violated;
- The referral body, if applicable, that is reporting the alleged behavior;
- A reference to the Student Code of Conduct, which outlines the steps involved in the administrative conduct procedures;
- Any action that the respondent must take and the deadline by which the action must be completed;
- The respondent may be accompanied during the administrative procedures by an advisor of their choice. The advisor may only speak to the respondent and will not directly address the administrative authority.
In certain circumstances, the administrative conduct authority may impose immediate College Interim Measures prior to and/or during the administrative conduct proceedings. Any interim disciplinary measures imposed shall be enforced College-wide. The interim disciplinary measures include, but are not limited to:
- Temporary removal from a designated area, including but not limited to classroom, library, lab, campus, or TCC College premises;
- An interim suspension may be imposed only:
- To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College District community or preservation of College District property;
- To ensure the individual’s physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
- If the respondent poses an ongoing threat of disruption or interference with the normal operations of the College.
- During the Interim Suspension, the individual shall be denied access (a No-Trespass Warning may be issued) to the campus (including classes) and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the individual might otherwise be eligible, as the administrative conduct authority may determine to be appropriate; and
- The Interim Suspension does not replace the regular process. During an Interim Suspension, the individual will not be permitted to attend classes. Upon issuance of an Interim Suspension, an administrative conference shall occur no more than ten (10) College business days after the respondent has been notified, unless extenuating circumstances exist. Maximum time limits for scheduling of the appeal request process may be extended at the discretion of the administrative conduct authority.
- Restricted communication with one or more individual(s), group(s), or organization(s);
- Restricted ability to participate in academic activities, including classes, internships, co-ops, etc.;
- Restricted access to campus employment;
- Administrative leave with or without pay for student employees; or
- Any other restriction that may be deemed appropriate but the administrative conduct authority.
The conduct authority or designee will notify the respondent in writing of any interim measures. The measures will take place immediately upon notification and are applicable district-wide unless otherwise specified. At any point in the process, interim measures may be implemented and will remain in place until it is determined they are no longer necessary.
Holds and Removal of Active Status
The administrative conduct authority or designee may place a hold on a student’s account, transcript, registration, and/or diploma; or remove a student group and/or registered student organization’s active status and ability to conduct operations in any of the following situations:
- A respondent has committed a violation of College policy culminating in suspension or expulsion;
- A respondent has been given interim restrictions pending an investigation and resolution of allegations of misconduct;
- A respondent has failed to schedule or attend a required College meeting or administrative conference
- A respondent has failed to complete one or more sanctions by the assigned deadline;
- An individual who is no longer attending the College exhibits disruptive behavior which is impacting the College community, and it is the determination of the administrative conduct authority or designee that a review of the individual’s file and meeting with the individual occur prior to the individual’s re-enrollment.
Step 1: Investigation
An investigation will be conducted to gather and examine information to help determine the merits of the reported behavior.
Any party associated with the reported behavior may be interviewed as part of the investigation process. All involved parties will have the opportunity to provide the names of relevant witnesses to be contacted as part of the investigation. The respondent shall cooperate with the College’s information gathering process. This shall include the expectation to respond to e-mail correspondence, appear if requested, and/or respond truthfully to questions asked by College officials.
If the reported behavior is concerning but does not appear to be a violation (e.g. an incident which occurs outside of the College’s jurisdiction, or repeated low-level behaviors), there may still be an institutional response without formal conduct charges. The respondent may be asked to meet to discuss the situation, be requested to participate in a mediated conversation, and/or may receive a letter regarding the concerning behavior.
Informal Resolution Meeting
The respondent will participate in an Informal Resolution Meeting as part of the investigation. During this meeting, the following information will be reviewed:
- the respondent’s rights and responsibilities
- the alleged violation(s)
- information that was provided as the basis for the alleged policy violation(s), which may be partially redacted if necessary
- the perspective of the respondent as it pertains to the alleged violation(s)
- resolution options
Additionally, the administrative investigator will be able to answer any questions regarding student conduct policies and procedures. The respondent is responsible for determining how they would like to proceed in the process. Finally, the administrative investigator may provide a range of sanctions that may apply given the alleged violation(s) but cannot ensure any specific outcome.
In instances in which the respondent accepts responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct, the respondent may agree to an Informal Resolution. If a respondent accepts responsibility for violating College policy, the respondent will be informed of the recommended sanction(s). If the respondent accepts responsibility for violating College policy and agrees to the sanction(s) recommended, then the respondent may waive their right to an Administrative Conference and complete the recommended sanction(s) through an Informal Resolution. Once the respondent agrees with the terms of the Informal Resolution, the outcome (decision of responsibility and recommended sanction(s)) are final and are not eligible to be appealed.
In instances in which an Informal Resolution is not utilized, the initial student conduct report, the results of the investigation, and all supporting documentation shall be submitted for consideration and resolution as part of the student conduct administrative conference process.
Responsible Action Protocol
The College recognizes that a student’s concern for potential disciplinary action related to alcohol, drugs, and other substances may hinder the student’s actions in response to a medical emergency. In order to alleviate those concerns and ensure that students and their guests receive prompt medical attention, the College has adopted the following Responsible Action Protocol:
- Students are urged to contact emergency officials by calling the College Police Department at (817) 515-8911 or 911 to report the incident, to remain with the individual(s) needing emergency treatment and cooperate with emergency officials, so long as it is safe to do so, and to meet with appropriate College officials after the incident and cooperate with any College investigation.
- Students who seek emergency medical attention for themselves or others related to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or other substances will not face disciplinary action for their personal use provided that the student completes an educational program or activity; however, this protocol does not provide protection for disciplinary action for other potential policy violations (e.g. damage and/or destruction of property, failure to comply, physical violence, sexual misconduct, etc.).
- Student groups or registered student organizations who seek emergency medical attention for their members or guests related to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or other substances will not face disciplinary actions for incidents involving alcohol, drugs, or other substances provided that the group or organization followed the event and risk management procedures as outlined by Student Activities and other College Policies, and provided that the group or organization completes an educational program or activity ; however, this protocol does not provide protection for disciplinary action for other potential policy violations (e.g. damage and/or destruction of property, failure to comply, hazing, physical violence, sexual misconduct, etc.).
- The Responsible Action Protocol applies only to those students, student groups, and registered student organization who seek emergency medical assistance in connection with an alcohol, drug, or other substance related medical emergency and does not apply to individuals experiencing an alcohol, drug, or other substance-related medical emergency who are found by College officials.
- The Responsible Action Protocol is not intended to shield or protect those students, student groups, or registered student organizations that repeatedly violate College policy. In cases, where repeated policy violations occur, the College reserves the right to take disciplinary action regardless of the manner in which the incident was reported. Additionally, the College reserves the right to initiate the administrative conduct process in cases in which the violation(s) are egregious.
- The Responsible Action Protocol only provides amnesty from violations of TCC policy. It does not grant amnesty for criminal, civil, or other legal consequences for violations of federal, state, or local laws or ordinances.
- Administrative Conduct Authority will make a determination regarding eligibility for amnesty under the Responsible Action Protocol during the initial review or investigation FKC [LEGAL] and FKC[LOCAL].
Step 2: Administrative Conference
As a result of the investigation process, and if it is determined that the respondent did not commit the alleged policy violation or reported misconduct, the conduct case shall be dismissed as unfounded. The respondent shall be provided written notice of the dismissal by College e-mail.
Once the investigation has been completed, and if the respondent did not enter a mutual resolution, an administrative conference will be scheduled. The respondent will receive a minimum of five (5) College business days’ notice of the administrative conference, unless the respondent waives this right or extenuating circumstances exist.
The written notice to the respondent regarding the administrative conference will include the following:
- The administrative conference date, time, and location;
- Notice that the administrative conference does not constitute a legal proceeding and that legal counsel will not be provided;
- Notice of the respondent’s rights and responsibilities;
- The respondent may be accompanied during the administrative procedures by an advisor of their choice. The advisor may only speak to the respondent and will not directly address the administrative authority.
- The respondent will be provided a copy of an investigation summary report prior to the student conduct administrative conference. The summary report will contain relevant information that will be used in determining the outcome.
- The respondent will be provided the range of disciplinary sanction(s) that may be assigned.
- The respondent will have the right to request an appeal of the decision made.
- Inform the respondent that they must provide notice if they intend to have an attorney serve as an adviser during the administrative conference. The notice must be submitted in writing no less than three (3) College business days before the administrative conference is scheduled to occur. In these instances, r it will be arranged for a College attorney to also be present during the administrative conference. The College shall have the authority to postpone the administrative conference, if necessary.
The conduct administrator will facilitate the administrative conference. There may be circumstances where additional college-officials are asked to be present at the administrative conference.
During the administrative conference, the conduct administrator shall review the allegations and give the respondent an opportunity to view the supporting documentation, share their perspective on the reported behavior, and submit other information and supporting documentation for consideration (if applicable). The administrative conference procedures will be audio recorded and is the only audio recording allowed. If requested, a copy will be provided to the respondent at their own expense.
After the administrative conference, the conduct administrator may find that the respondent did violate a policy based on a preponderance of the evidence. If the conduct administrator finds that the respondent violated a policy, disciplinary sanctions will be assigned. Sanctions will be appropriate to the current violation(s) and in consideration of any prior conduct history and/or mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
The respondent and complainant (if applicable) will be notified of the outcome of the administrative conference via their College e-mail within five (5) College business days, unless extenuating circumstances exist. If an outcome is unable to be reached within five (5) College business days, the respondent and the complainant (if applicable) will be notified of the delay via College e-mail.
Failure to Appear for Conference
If the respondent and/or the complainant (if applicable), without adequate notice, do not attend the administrative conference, the conduct procedures may occur in their absence. No other opportunity for an administrative conference may be provided for a respondent and/or complainant (if applicable) that fails to appear without good cause.
Step 3: Appeal (if requested)
Any respondent, wishing to appeal the outcome must submit an appeal request within five (5) College business days of the date of the outcome letter. An appeal must be submitted in writing to the office of the vice president for student development services via the online appeal form.
An appeal does not provide for a second administrative conference. An appeal is an administrative review that addresses one or more issues outlined below.
Ground for Appeal
Appeals may be submitted to the office of the vice president for student development services on one or more of the following grounds:
- The established administrative procedures were not followed and as a result, the findings or disciplinary sanctions imposed were not correct.
- There is new information that would have been pertinent to the outcome had the information been available to the conduct administrator before delivering a finding or assigning disciplinary sanctions. The respondent must clearly describe the new information in the written request for an appeal and must include any available supporting documentation. Additionally, the respondent must show that the new information and supporting documentation was not known at the time of the administrative conference.
The office of the vice president for student development services will be responsible for evaluating the content of the appeal request. Any conduct authorities involved in the facilitation of the administrative conference are unable to participate in the review of an appeal request.
The office of the vice president for student development services shall provide the respondent a written response setting forth the basis of any decision. Every effort will be made to send follow-up correspondence to the respondent within ten (10) College business days.
Upon review of the record, the office of the vice president for student development services may respond as follows:
- Determine that the appeal does not meet the ground(s) outlined above, in which case the original decision stands;
- Determine that the appeal meets the ground(s) outlined and remand the case back to the original conduct administrator to consider new information or reevaluate previous information;
- Determine that the appeal meets the ground(s) outlined above and remand the case to a new conduct administrator with specific corrective instructions.
- Determine that the sanction(s) is/are inappropriate for the violation and recommend the sanction(s) being modified by the conduct administrator;
Notice to Complainants
The decision of the campus vice president of student development services is final.
In some instances, the complainant will also be notified regarding the status of a relevant administrative procedures, including any decision made by the conduct administrator in accordance with local, state, and/or federal law.
Notice Regarding Procedures
Student Conduct Administrative procedures are consistent with the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook. Any deviation from these procedures will only be made as necessary and will include reasonable advance notice to the parties involved, either by posting online and/or in the form of written communication. Student Conduct administrators may adjust procedures with notice, upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations that are not reflected in policy. The student conduct administrator may make minor modifications to procedure that do not significantly jeopardize the fairness owed to any party. Any question of interpretation of the Student Code of Conduct will be referred to the director of student conduct and prevention education or designee, whose interpretation is final. The Student Handbook will be updated annually under the direction of the Executive Vice Provost, with a comprehensive revision process being conducted every 3 years.
The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon any respondent found to have violated College District policy, see FLB(LOCAL/LEGAL). This list is not exhaustive. All disciplinary sanctions are cumulative, and the previous conduct history of the respondent shall be considered when issuing a disciplinary sanction. Disciplinary sanctions are also subject to enhancement based on the severity of the behavior and the impact on the College District community. More than one disciplinary sanction can be imposed for any single violation.
- Reprimand - A written notice given to a respondent explaining that the respondent has engaged in misconduct or violated College District policy or institutional regulations. Repeated incidents of misconduct or violations of College District policy or institutional regulations can result in more severe disciplinary action.
- Restitution - Reimbursement for damage to, or misuse of property. Reimbursement may take the form of appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damage.
- Scholastic Penalties - The assignment of a failing grade on an assignment or examination or in a course by an instructor based on scholastic dishonesty including cheating, collusion and plagiarism committed by a student. The instructor will submit a written report of the incident and of the planned action to the instructor’s dean.
- Probation - A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions including suspension or expulsion, if the respondent is found to have engaged in additional violations during the probationary period.
- Disciplinary Suspension - Forced withdrawal from the College District for either a definite period of time or until stated conditions have been met. Normally, suspension shall extend through a minimum of one regular long semester (with summer sessions not counting in the one-semester minimum time lapse). However, suspension may exceed the one-semester minimum.
- Deferred Suspension - Establishes a fixed period of time, allowing the respondent to complete the current academic term or semester. While the student is allowed to remain enrolled, a recognized student organization is not permitted to represent the College or participate in any extracurricular activities. The specifics of the Deferred Suspension shall vary based upon the violation and circumstances for each respondent. Restrictions on the respondent shall include limiting participation in activities to those directly related to academic pursuits or the completion of academic requirements. This includes entering College District buildings or attending College District events. The College District shall have the authority to impose additional conditions, restrictions or sanctions during a deferred suspension.
- Disciplinary Expulsion - Permanent separation of the respondent from the College.
- Loss of Privileges - Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Administrative Withdrawal - Removal from an academic or non-credit bearing course as a result of disruptive or insubordinate behavior.
- Educational Disciplinary Sanctions - Work assignments, essays, service to the College District or other related discretionary assignments. At his or her discretion, the conduct authority shall have the authority to require that a respondent complete additional educational assignments such as essays or research papers or perform services for the College District.
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree/Certificate - The College District shall have the authority to revoke a student’s admission or a degree or certificate for fraud, misrepresentation, violation of degree or certificate standards or other serious violations of conduct.
- Withholding Degree/Certificate - The College shall have the authority to withhold the awarding of a degree or certificate from a student who has otherwise earned the degree or certificate until the student has completed or satisfied all imposed disciplinary sanctions.
- No Trespass Order - A respondent suspended or expelled from the College District may be issued a no-trespass order for the duration of the assigned sanction. Exceptions shall be made for suspensions, as noted above at items 5 and 6.
- No Communication/Contact Order - The College District shall have the authority to prohibit a respondent from engaging in personal contact and all forms of communication with other members of the College District community. This sanction shall be imposed primarily when such contact has the potential to lead to harassment, threats or other forms of unwanted interaction, or the College District believes there is a reasonable likelihood of additional conduct violations by the respondent.
- Withhold Official Records - The College District shall have the authority to block registration or withhold transcripts, grades, diplomas or other official records if the action is reasonably necessary to preserve the College District’s ability to enforce disciplinary rules.
More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
Other than College expulsion or revocation/withholding of a degree/certificate, disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of the respondent’s permanent academic record but will become part of the respondent’s disciplinary record. After seven years, the respondent’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than College suspension, College expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree/certificate, upon application to the conduct authority. Conduct cases involving the imposition of disciplinary sanctions other than College suspension, College expulsion or revocation or withholding of a degree will be expunged from the respondent’s confidential record in accordance with the established retention schedule after final disposition of the conduct case.
A respondent shall be permitted to request that any disciplinary record, other than a suspension, expulsion, or revocation of a degree or certificate, be expunged after seven years. The request must be submitted to the vice president for student development services. If no request is submitted, the disciplinary record of a respondent shall be maintained in accordance with the College District’s established records retention schedule.
Disciplinary sanctions of suspension, expulsion or revocation of a degree or certificate shall not be removed from the disciplinary record of a student or recognized student organization.
Respondent’s Rights/Student Conduct Review Procedures
- To have prior knowledge of the alleged violation(s) and have the alleged violation(s) explained clearly and fully. Students needing assistance with general questions or to better understand the conduct process should contact the Conduct Authority.
- To have access to hear statements and/or see all written statements concerning the charges.
- To present throughout the proceedings, excluding the Conduct Authority’s deliberation process of the student conduct review process.
- To refute oral and/or written statements.
- To provide material witnesses and/or notarized statements from witnesses.
- To be advised of the appropriate Appeal process.
- To be accompanied by an “Advisor” if they choose, at his or her own expense. The Advisor may not address the Conduct Authority but may serve as a “Support Person” during the preceding for the accused student or Student who experienced harm.
- To submit a written statement (in hard copy or electronic) outlining their perspective on the original incident which initiated the Student Conduct process.