Student Rights & Conduct Code
Student Conduct Code
Students at Southwestern Illinois College have the same rights as those accorded all citizens of the United States and the state of Illinois, including the right to free, open and responsible discussion and inquiry, and the right to a quality education in a program of study under competent instructors.
The college is obligated to the people of the district and the state to provide an environment which is conducive to the academic and personal development of its students. This obligation requires the college to conduct its affairs in an orderly, uninterrupted manner.
Student conduct on campus and at all college-sponsored activities is governed by the rules of the community. Violations of federal, state and local laws at any college-sponsored activity, on or off campus, will be considered a violation of the Student Conduct Code and violators will be subject to disciplinary action. Violations include, but are not limited to:
- acts that interfere with the purposes, necessities and processes of the college community or that deny the rights of members of the college community to include disruptions of classroom, shop, lab or any other learning activities;
- denying a trustee, employee, student or invitee of the college freedom of movement or use of the facility; disrupting the performance of institutional duties or pursuit of educational activities; and occupying buildings or other property after due and legal notice to depart;
- causing or threatening to cause harm to an individual either directly or indirectly by action or verbal behavior;
- academic misconduct including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism and forgery; failure or refusal to follow clinical practice standards; and soliciting, aiding, abetting, concealing or attempting such acts. Plagiarism is defined as the use or close imitation of the language, thoughts or work of another to include copying, quoting, paraphrasing, using another’s creation, images or illustrations to represent them as your own work without proper acknowledgment of the source;
- improper, unauthorized or personal use of college computer laboratories, equipment, Internet services or software; the modifying or copying of college software; and the use of illegal or unauthorized software to include Title 17, United States Code, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, and the Copyright Term Extension Act.
- sexual harassment under Title IX, defined as any unwelcome attention, behavior or materials of a sexual nature creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment or interfering with educational or work performance. Sexual harassment is a violation of state and federal law, as well as Southwestern Illinois College policy;
- stalking, bullying or other means of harassment by verbal, written, physical or electronic means; using social media to communicate an indirect threat;
- discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, gender identity, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran;
- nuisance activities such as the use of loud, abusive, or otherwise improper language; loitering; improper assembling; creating any hazard to people or things; blocking access ways; improper disposal of rubbish; and lewd or obscene conduct as defined by law;
- possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages, except at Foundation-sponsored events and off-campus activities where such possession and consumption meet requirements of state law and where the location of the activity does not prohibit such beverages;
- sale, use, possession or distribution of marijuana or any other illicit or synthetic substance, including any controlled substance prescribed or not prescribed by a licensed physician;
- illegal gambling;
- loss, theft or damage of college property or property of members of the college community, including failure to return college supplies, equipment, software and library material and misuse of the MetroLink Ridership Program;
- failure to meet financial obligations relative to college transactions, issuing of fraudulent checks or committing deceptive practices such as counterfeiting, fraud or false impersonation;
- the sale, transfer, possession, use or discharge of explosives, fireworks, ammunition, firearms, dangerous chemicals, hazardous substances or other weapons (to include simulated devices) except as specially permitted by law and college officials;
- failure to give information or giving false or misleading information in response to requests from college officials to include failure to identify, non-compliance and interference with reasonable verbal or written instructions;
- misuse of camera phones, electronic capture devices or
- unauthorized videotaping in an area where the expectation of privacy exists or to compromise academic work or tests;
- disorderly conduct defined as knowingly acting in an unreasonable manner so as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace;
A student against whom (the respondent) an order of protection has been issued by a court may be subject to removal from classes to assure compliance with the order.
Possible Sanctions for Violations of Student
Sanctions for academic dishonesty or for behavior disruptive to the educational process may be imposed by faculty members in their instructional role. Sanctions for academic dishonesty include a failing grade on an individual assignment, examination or course. Serious matters of academic dishonesty or disruptive behavior may cause the student to be withdrawn from the instructor’s course or a program of study. A student found to have violated the Student Conduct Code may be denied access to certain courses or programs, including the loss of internship privileges, needed to complete a program of study.
The vice president for Student Development or designee may impose the following sanctions upon students found to have violated the Student Conduct Code:
- Disciplinary Reprimand: An oral conference or written reprimand noting the seriousness of the violation of the Student Conduct Code.
- Probation: A status for a specific period of time which places the student on notice that further misconduct may result in more serious penalty.
- Social Probation: Probationary status that also restricts the student from specified activities, equipment or facilities.
- Suspension: Involuntary separation from the college for a stated period of time or until stated conditions are met. Days on suspension are unexcused absences from class.
- Expulsion: Permanent removal from Southwestern Illinois College.
- Assessment for Restitution: Payment for restoration of property or to resolve financial obligations to the college. Failure to pay assessed amounts will prevent the student from obtaining records and registering for classes.
- Separations or Restrictions: A student may be separated or restricted from enrollments on a temporary basis pending the completion of proceedings relevant to the Student Conduct Code. Students will be so notified.
Sexual assault is a violation of federal, state and local law, and the policy of Southwestern Illinois College. Therefore, criminal sanctions by the criminal justice system and administrative sanctions by the college may be imposed. Guidelines for proceedings are available in the office of the vice president for Student Development or designee.
A student who is accused of violating the Student Conduct Code will be referred to the vice president for Student Development or designee, who will determine whether the student is guilty of the charge. If the student is found guilty, the vice president for Student Development will impose appropriate sanctions. The student will be notified in writing of the decision. Written response will normally be made to the student within 10 school days unless circumstances require additional time for consideration.
If the student disagrees with the action taken, he or she may request a hearing before the Disciplinary Committee within seven school days from the time the notification is received. The request for a hearing must be in writing. The hearing date will be set by the chair of the Disciplinary Committee no later than 15 school days after the receipt of the student’s request for a hearing.
Each appeal will be heard by a panel of the Disciplinary Committee comprised of three administrators appointed by the college president (one to be appointed chair), two faculty members appointed by the president of the Faculty Union and two students appointed by the Student Leadership Group at the Belleville Campus.
The Disciplinary Committee hearing should be informal and nonadversarial in nature, with rules of evidence and civil procedure not strictly applying. The hearing should be conducted much as an arbitration would be handled involving personnel decisions under administrative proceedings. The vice president for Student Development or designee and the student should be allowed to present any testimony or documents, and such evidence will be given whatever weight it is due. All documents used by the vice president for Student Development or designee to impose sanctions should be made available to each Disciplinary Committee member and the student prior to the hearing. A transcript should be taken of the hearing.
The written decision of the Disciplinary Committee will be communicated to the student and vice president for Student Development or designee. The Disciplinary Committee is the final authority on the matter.
These procedures are intended to serve as general guidelines and substantial compliance with them will be considered to meet the requirements of the process.
Student Grievance Procedures
Student grievances may involve academic matters, administrative matters or discrimination. Grievances, other than those involving discrimination charges, will be handled through the regular line of authority. A grievant who is not satisfied with a decision at one level may appeal the grievance to the next level of authority. Information and discussions concerning the resolution of a grievance will be maintained in as confidential a manner as possible so as to protect the interests of all parties.
In grievances involving academic matters, including grading, the student should first consult with the instructor concerned. Every attempt should be made to resolve the grievance on an informal basis. If necessary, the student should process a grievance through the levels of department head/coordinator, dean, vice president for Instruction and college president. At the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, the executive director or associate dean of Instructional Services may be consulted. At the Red Bud Campus, contact the executive director.
In grievances involving administrative matters, the student should attempt to resolve the complaint on an informal basis by consulting with the responsible administrator. If necessary, the student should proceed through the levels of director, dean, appropriate vice president and college president. At the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, the executive director or associate dean of Instructional Services may be consulted. At the Red Bud Campus, contact the executive director.
A complaint becomes formal when it is submitted in writing by the complainant. Grievances should be submitted in writing at each level of authority within 10 school days of the action being grieved or within 10 school days of the decision being appealed. Written response normally will be made to the grievant within 10 school days unless circumstances require additional time for consideration. Grievances may not be appealed to the Board of Trustees.
Grade appeals are considered a special category of student grievance. A student who wishes to appeal a grade must contact his or her instructor within 30 calendar days after the start of the regular semester (fall, spring or summer) following the recording of the disputed grade. If the student is not satisfied with the instructor’s response, then he or she must contact the relevant department chair/coordinator in writing within the following 10 school days. If an instructor is unavailable because, for example, he or she is away from campus for the summer or on a sabbatical, then the student must submit his or her grade appeal to the relevant department chair/coordinator or dean within the 30-day time period with the understanding that resolution will be pursued when the instructor returns to campus. The 30-day time limit may be waived by the vice president for Instruction when extraordinary circumstances are applicable. In any event, this grade appeal procedure is not to be used for a review of the judgment of an instructor in assessing the quality of a student’s work.
Grievances involving discrimination because of race, color, creed, gender, veteran status, disability, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation or age should be made to the affirmative action officer (director of Human Resources) who will handle the grievance. Specific college processes exist in conformance with state and federal statutes governing such cases.
How to Report Incidents
Students who feel threatened or intimidated, who are harmed, or who observe violations of the Student Conduct Code may report the incident as appropriate:
- For academic matters: To the instructor, coordinator, department head or dean.
- For matters of safety or security: To the Public Safety office or campus administrative office.
- Belleville Campus, 618-235-2700, ext. 5555
- Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, 618-931-0600, ext. 7372
- Red Bud Campus, 618-282-6682, ext. 8888
- In general: To an administrator, faculty member or staff member for assistance and referral.
- For discrimination and sexual harassment/misconduct (including sexual violence): Contact the Title IX Co-Coordinators, Staci Clayborne or Nancy LeVault, by calling 618-235-2700, ext. 5566, sending an email to TitleIX@swic.edu or visiting the Office of the Vice President for Student Development at the Belleville Campus, Main Complex, Room 1246, 2500 Carlyle Avenue, Belleville, IL 62221.
In keeping with the college mission, these regulations may be revised at the discretion of the college.
Supplements and/or additions may be made at any time.
Distributed by the vice president for Student Development or designee in cooperation with the Student Disciplinary Appeals Committee.