113 - Student Code of Conduct
The purpose of this policy is to establish the student code of conduct.
The college offers each student the freedom to learn and the freedom to enjoy college life in an orderly and lawful manner. In return, the college expects every student to assume the obligation and responsibilities that accompany those freedoms. By enrollment at Southeast, students assume the obligation and responsibility of conducting themselves in accordance with reasonable and lawful requirements. Violations of these responsibilities may result in sanctions that can include warning, probation, suspension or expulsion from the college.
Students have the right to establish their own personal lives and behavior so long as they do not violate college regulations or interfere with the rights of others or the educational process. The college has both the right and responsibility to protect members of its community from physical harm and property damage.
Students, by their associations with the college, will abide by college conduct policies. The code of student conduct does not replace nor does it reduce any requirements of civil or criminal law imposed upon citizens as members of the larger community. Therefore, students who violate civil or criminal law may be subject to both legal and college sanctions for the same conduct when the conduct occurs off campus but is related to the college community.
Students may be held accountable for behavioral violations committed off campus when the violations are committed while participating in a college sanctioned or sponsored activity; or the victim of the violations is a member of the college community; or the violation adversely impacts the educational, research, or service functions of the college; or the violation constitutes a felony under state or federal law.
It is the duty of the Dean of Students Office, when adjudicating a potential policy violation, to determine if the Code of Conduct, as described above, has been violated. The Dean of Students Office will use the standard of a preponderance of evidence in so doing, determining if it is more likely than not that the Code of Conduct was violated in a given situation.
While it is not possible to outline all behaviors that would be considered misconduct, the following are examples of behavior that is in violation of the Code and which could result in student conduct action. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of prohibited behaviors.Violation of written Board of Trustees and college policies, rules or regulations.
- Violation of written Board of Trustees and college policies, rules or regulations.
- Violation of local, state, or federal laws on college property, or off-campus when the violation is directly related to the college community.
- Violations on or off-campus that adversely affect the educational, research or service functions of the college.
- Violations constituting a felony under state or federal law.
- Academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism (see the Academic Integrity Policy).
- Disruption by an individual or group in college operations or the rights or ability of others to participate in college instruction, activities, programs, or services.
- Unauthorized entry, unauthorized use, or misuse of college facilities and/or equipment.
- Violation of student electronic mail rules and regulations, and/or the computing Acceptable User Policy.
- Vandalism and theft.
- Physically endangering behavior including physical violence or the threat of physical violence.
- Alleged or actual criminal violence such as possession of weapons or incendiary devices, or physical violence.
- Possession, sale, distribution, or use of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, including being under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled substances on college property or at a college event off-campus.
- Physical or psychological/emotional abuse including, but not limited to, stalking, sexual violence, intimidation or harassment.
- Hazing activities whether occurring on or off campus, which: endanger the mental and physical health or safety of an individual; subject a person to public humiliation or ridicule; 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.
A description of investigation processes; hearings, sanctions/disciplinary actions and appeals are described below.
Student Code of Conduct Procedures
Section A: Sanctions
Warning - A warning is an oral or written notice to students that their conduct has been inappropriate. The warning will note that future violations may result in more serious sanctions. A verbal warning will always be followed up with a written summary of the warning to the student. The written warning or summary will be placed in the student’s record.
Probation – A probation period is a specified period of time during which students will have an opportunity to remediate their behavior. Students may be restricted from participation in college classes or activities. Additionally, students may be required to complete specific actions during the probationary period.
Summary Suspension - A suspension, not to exceed nine (9) school days, imposed without an informal process or formal hearing to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community. Notice of the summary suspension must be provided in writing to the student.
Suspension - Denial of the privilege of enrollment for a specified period of time after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for re-admission may be specified. Notations of suspensions must be posted on transcripts in accordance with System Procedure 3.29.1.
Expulsion - Permanent denial of the privilege of enrollment. Notations of expulsion must be posted on transcripts in accordance with System Procedure 3.29.1.
Section B: Investigation and Informal Process
Any member of the college community may file a written complaint alleging that a student or organization has violated student conduct proscriptions. Persons filing complaints shall be informed of their rights under the Minnesota Statute 13.04, subdivision 2 and be provided with information about the process and the anticipated timeline of the investigation. Following the filing of a complaint against a student, the person responsible for administering the code (in this policy, referred to as the “administrator”) shall conduct an investigation of the charges. The college’s process shall include the following:
If the complaint seems unwarranted, the administrator may discontinue proceedings. The administrator will document their decision to discontinue proceedings and shall send a letter that explains that to the complainant.
If there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint, the administrator shall offer the accused student an opportunity to resolve the alleged violation at an informal meeting. No less than two business days prior to this informal meeting, the student shall be given oral or written notice of the charges against them and of the evidence to support the charge, and directed to the code of conduct for their review. The student will be given the option to waive the two-day notice period in order to hold the informal meeting sooner. During the informal meeting the administrator shall review the complaint and the evidence with the student and allow the student to present a defense against the complaint. Within a reasonable time period following the informal meeting, the administrator shall inform the accused student in writing of their decision whether a violation of the code was established by a preponderance of evidence and any applicable sanction as well as options available for an appeal and/or a formal hearing.
A student who is subject to a sanction of expulsion or suspension, except summary suspension, for more than nine days may agree to accept the sanction, or may request, in writing within two business days of delivery of the decision, a formal hearing prior to the implementation of the sanction. . Other sanctions must be accepted or may be appealed in accordance with the college’s appeal procedures.
If the accused student fails to appear for the informal hearing, the administrator may proceed to review and act upon the complaint in their absence and shall notify the student in writing ofwhether a violation of the student code of conduct was established by a preponderance of evidence and any applicable sanctions as well as options available for an appeal and/or a formal hearing. The complainant must receive notification consistent with state and federal privacy laws.
Section C: Formal Hearing and Due Process Rights
The College will select the formal hearing panel. The panel will consist minimally of a faculty member and a student affairs staff member. A college administrator, selected by the college president, will facilitate the proceedings. The administrator will not participate in the deliberations or decision making of the panel.
Students referred for a formal hearing will be notified in writing at least two (2) school days prior to the hearing of the time, place, and date of the formal hearing. The student's failure to appear at the hearing will not prevent the hearing from proceeding as scheduled.
Within a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the student will be notified in writing of the charges, the evidence to be presented, a list of witnesses, and the nature of their testimony.
The student shall be given the opportunity to speak in their own defense, to present witnesses, to question any witnesses and to have an advocate present. The advocate may provide advice to the student, but may not participate in any questioning or presentation of information. When there is likelihood that a student involved in conduct proceedings will face criminal prosecution for a serious offense, it may be advisable for the student to have an attorney as advocate.
A written notice of findings and conclusions will be provided to the student within ten (10) school days after the hearing. The notice will inform the student of any sanctions to be imposed. The notice shall also contain information regarding any applicable appeal process.
The complainant must receive notification of process outcomes consistent with state and federal privacy laws.
In certain circumstances, a summary suspension may be imposed prior to an informal or formal proceedings. A summary suspension may be imposed only when the accused student's presence on the college or university campus would constitute a threat to the safety and well-being of members of the campus community. To the greatest extent possible before implementing the summary suspension, the accused student must be given oral or written notice of the intent to impose summary suspension and must be given an opportunity to present oral or written arguments against the imposition of the suspension. However, the refusal of a student to accept or acknowledge this notice must not prevent the implementation of a summary suspension. Notice of the summary suspension must be provided in writing to the student. After the student has been summarily suspended, the student must be provided an opportunity for an informal process or formal hearing within the shortest reasonable time period, not to exceed nine (9) school or business days. During the summary suspension, the student may not enter the campus or participate in any college or university activities without obtaining prior permission from the administrator.
Section D: Appeal
The student has the right to appeal the sanction at the end of the conduct process in writing, to the college president or designee within ten (10) school days following the conclusion of the conduct process. The president or designee will have ten (10) school days to respond to the appeal.
Students have the right to appeal the college president's decision to an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge will conduct a hearing and make a recommendation regarding sanction to the MN State chancellor or designee. The decision of the chancellor or designee will be final.
Approved: April 28, 2006
Reviewed: December 28, 2010; October 23, 2013; May 2020
Revised: September 29, 2008; February 7, 2011, October 23, 2013; May 13, 2020