5.15 – Standards of Student Conduct

A. Purpose

To describe the standards of conduct to which students must adhere.

B. Policy

The basic standard of behavior requires students to comply with, observe and obey state and/or federal laws; the board of trustees’ policies and procedures of the college; and orders of the chancellor, faculty, administrators and staff of the institution who are charged with the administration of institutional affairs.

Students are not entitled to greater immunities or privileges before the law than those enjoyed by other citizens generally. Students are expected to obey the civil statutes of the state of Missouri, the federal government and the board of trustees’ policies. Students may be penalized by the college for violating its standards of conduct even if they are also punished by state or federal authorities for the same act.

C. Procedures

Inherent Authority

The college expects all students to obey the law, to show respect for properly constituted authority, to maintain integrity and high standards of individual honor in scholastic work and to observe standards of conduct appropriate for a community of scholars.  In short, students enrolled in the college assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the college’s function as an educational institution, whether on or off campus, in person or online.

The college reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus and to support the mission of the college. When a college administrator receives a report that a student’s behavior off-campus potentially poses significant danger to the college community, or would otherwise disrupt the campus environment or adversely affect the college, appropriate action as outlined in these procedures may be taken. Complaints about off-campus behavior will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they merit review within the student conduct system.

To the extent feasible and practical, disciplinary procedures at the college are in writing in order to provide students general notice of prohibited conduct. These procedures are not a criminal code; they should be read broadly and are not designed to define misconduct in exhaustive terms.

The succeeding enumerated violations describe offenses for which disciplinary proceedings may be initiated by the vice chancellor for student affairs, the dean of students or the designated campus or center administrator.

Enumerated Violations

Violations of the Standards of Student Conduct include but are not limited to the following:

a.     unauthorized and/or illegal possession, use or distribution of alcoholic beverages or presence on campus while under the influence of such

b.     manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of controlled substances or presence on campus while under the influence of such

c.     theft of property or services

d.     vandalism or destruction of property

e.     assault and/or battery

f.      conduct that threatens the physical or mental wellbeing, health or safety of an individual

g.     intimidation or harassment that causes a reasonable person to fear for their physical safety, their property and/or mental wellbeing and the intimidation or harassment may consist of physical actions, including gestures, or oral, cyber bullying, electronic, or written communications, and any threat of retaliation for reporting any such intimidation or harassment

h.     gender-based or sexual misconduct as defined by Policy 4.06 — Sexual Misconduct

i.      possession, use, sales or purchase of firearms or other weapons

j.      trespassing on college property or other unauthorized use of college property or services

k.     abuse or misuse of college computer, network or other technology system resources, including unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material including through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and other violations of the college’s Computer Use Agreement https://services.otc.edu/technology/computer-use-agreement/

l.      academic dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarizing or furnishing false information on official documents or other requests from the college

m.   failure to identify oneself to, or comply with the directions of authorized college employees or representatives who are performing their duties

n.     any conduct that constitutes a violation of the terms of any discipline imposed in accordance with this procedure, or any form of retaliation towards a complainant or any participant in an investigation or conduct process

o.     any conduct that constitutes a violation of handbooks, policies, contracts, financial or behavioral agreements specific to college programs or activities

p.     any conduct that constitutes a violation of federal or state law, local ordinance or college policies or procedures

q.     gambling of any kind on college property, in college facilities or using college resources

r.      forgery, alteration or misuse of any college document, record, key, electronic device or identification cards

s.     hazing – participating in or causing a willful act, occurring on or off campus of the college, directed against a student or a prospective member of an organization operating under the sanction of the college that recklessly endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or prospective member for the purpose of initiation or admission into or continued membership in any such organization to the extent that such person is knowingly placed at probable risk of the loss of life or probable bodily or psychological harm

t.      stalking – purposely and repeatedly engaging in an unwanted course of conduct that causes alarm to another person when it is reasonable in that person’s situation to have been alarmed by the conduct

u.     disorderly conduct, which includes, but is not limited to: 1) any conduct which materially and substantially disrupts the educational process, college operations, and/or related activities; and 2) any conduct which aids, abets, or procures another person to materially and substantially disrupt the education process, college operations, and/or related activities

v.     failure to conform to community standards of safety and decency. A student’s dress, hygiene and appearance shall not be such that it causes disruption, distracts others from the educational process or creates a health or safety problem

D. Definitions

Student – All persons taking courses with Ozarks Technical Community College, for college credit or non-credit, for continuing education, personal development, adult education and literacy or professional development, whether or not pursuing any degree or program offered by Ozarks Technical Community College. The college has jurisdiction for disciplinary purposes over persons who were enrolled students at the time they allegedly violated the Standards of Student Conduct. Individuals who withdraw after allegedly violating the Standards of Student 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 under this policy.

Administrator – the vice chancellor for student affairs, campus president(s), appropriate dean(s), director(s), assistant director(s), coordinator(s), assistant coordinator(s) and department chairperson(s) of the college for the purposes of this policy and these procedures.

E. Authority

This policy and these procedures are maintained under the authority of the vice chancellor for student affairs.

F. Related Policies

3.39 – Anti-Harassment, Anti-Discrimination Grievance Procedures

4.06 – Sexual Misconduct

5.16 – Student Discipline and Appeals Process

5.24 – Academic Integrity

G. Implementation

Policy approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on 2/23/98; revised 7/13/09, 11/10/14.

Purpose, Procedures, Definitions, Authority and Related Policies approved and adopted by the Chancellor’s Cabinet 10/28/14; revised on 03/30/2018 and 12/12/2019.

Set for review in fiscal year 2022-2023.