The student conduct policy sets behavioral standards for Empire State College students and defines the relationship between the college and its students. It affirms values essential to promoting individual intellectual and personal development and for creating an effective learning community. Empire State College expects students to conduct themselves in a responsible manner that is respectful of the rights, well-being and property of all members of the college community and that supports the college’s educational mission.
Students are expected to:
Empire State College students should expect the same degree of civility and respect from other students, faculty and staff.
A student is a person admitted or enrolled at Empire State College. The college has an interest in student conduct, which occurs during a student’s matriculation or enrollment at the college, including any breaks in enrollment permitted by college policy. Students are responsible for their own behavior and the behavior of their guests.
The college does not normally pursue alleged conduct violations that occur away from Empire State College facilities or events, or that are not associated with the student’s relationship with Empire State College. However, in situations when the safety of members of the college community may be endangered, the college may review such violations pursuant to the policy on student conduct.
The following behaviors by a student, or any guest of a student, whether acting alone or with any other persons, violate the policy on student conduct:
* See Empire State College firearms policy
Students are entitled to equal care and fairness in the application of the policy on student conduct. A student accused of a breach of student conduct and others in the college community have equally important interests. Thus, the college takes into account the interests of all parties in order to reach a fair resolution.
In both formal and informal investigations of complaints and concerns, the college may review and consider relevant information about prior complaints and their outcomes and informal steps toward changing the behavior. The college will not include information about conduct complaints for which a student was found not responsible.
Center, program and functional staff (financial aid, student accounts, business services, admissions, etc.) are expected to resolve issues around student behavior informally through discussion and advisement before moving to formal complaints. Any resolution reached through this process is binding. Staff summarize in writing both informal resolutions reached with student and attempts to resolve issues informally and send that summary to the student and any other relevant parties. In some cases, it is appropriate to move directly to a formal complaint.
The office of Academic Affairs is responsible for administering formal student conduct procedures. A staff member within the office of academic affairs serves as the college’s judicial officer.
The college uses the procedures that follow only if there is a formal allegation of a breach of student conduct as defined in this policy. The procedures support investigation of alleged misconduct and hearings are an extension of that investigation and not trials.
The college’s standard for finding a student responsible for a violation of the policy on student conduct is that there is a preponderance of evidence supporting the complaint.
There are three possible formal sanctions. The sanctions of expulsion and suspension result in a loss of good standing with the college. Repeated violations may be a basis for determining that a sanction of suspension or expulsion from the college is warranted.
Expulsion: A student who is expelled from the college for disciplinary reasons is permanently excluded from all college activities, functions, facilities and buildings, and may not use any college resources.
Suspension: A student who is suspended from the college is excluded from all college activities, functions, facilities and buildings and may not use any college resources for the period of the suspension. The student is restored to good standing at the end of the suspension period.
Written warning: A written warning describes the breach of conduct and directs the student not to repeat the conduct in question. A written warning indicates that the student has damaged his or her relationship with the college, but does not carry a loss of good standing. A written warning issued for a breach of conduct will be reviewed when considering any future breaches of conduct.
A suspension or written warning may be accompanied by restrictions on the use of specific college resources or facilities (e.g., use of computer resources). A restriction may be temporary or permanent. Information defining such restrictions must be included in the written notice to the student.
In addition to the sanctions specified above, the college may require the student to make restitution or compensate for any loss, damage or injury.
This policy complies with section 356 and 6450 of the Educational Law and section 535 of the Rules of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York.
No Contact Order PolicyFirearms PolicySexual Violence Prevention and Response Policy
Procedures (for cases other than Sexual Misconduct)
Any member of the college community may file a complaint alleging a breach of student conduct. The complainant(s) submits a signed, written complaint to the judicial officer within 30 calendar days of the occurrence of the event or discovery thereof. The complaint must describe the alleged violation and include any available documentation/information. The complaint may include information about previous behavior that demonstrates a recurrent pattern of behavior that is relevant to the current conduct violation. In the initial review, (described below) the judicial officer determines if the college will charge the accused with a violation of the conduct policy.
Given the role of the judicial officer in resolving behavioral concerns, the judicial officer is often aware of the full range of a student’s behavior across the college and may be the most knowledgeable. Consequently, the judicial officer may initiate formal proceedings based on her/his knowledge of the student’s behavior. If there is a conflict of interest the judicial officer may excuse herself/himself and the provost will appoint an alternate judicial officer.
The judicial officer first determines if there are grounds for the allegation and whether the allegation falls within the scope of the policy on student conduct.
The judicial officer may address the concern through discussion with the student or other appropriate means and make an effort to resolve the matter informally. The formal process is followed if the judicial officer determines that the informal process is insufficient or inappropriate.
In any case, the judicial officer notifies the student in writing within 15 calendar days of receipt of the complaint. The written notice indicates who filed the complaint, summarizes the student’s alleged violation of college policy and the nature of the information and documentation presented against the student and includes a copy of the policy on student conduct. The written notice also indicates whether the next step is a discussion, a review conference or referral to the Student Conduct Committee for a hearing.
Student Conduct Committee
Student Conduct Hearing
Sanctions and Imposition of Sanctions
The judicial officer is responsible for implementing any sanction for misconduct within seven calendar days of the SCC decision. The judicial officer provides a written notice to the student, the complainant and the dean of the student’s home center or program and maintains a copy for the college’s records.
Cases of Sexual Misconduct Introduction
This section outlines the policy and procedures that will be followed for all cases of sexual misconduct. More information on reporting, response and resources can be found on the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Policies. Included in the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Policies is a statement regarding the reporting of incidents by bystander without fear of being charged with conduct violations. Please see http://www.esc.edu/policies/?search=cid%3D80187 for details.
In the event that there is a conflict between any procedures set forth in this section with any procedures described in any other portion of this code, the procedures set forth in this section will control for cases of sexual misconduct. Compliance with any of the below listed provisions does not constitute a violation of Section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g, commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
The burden of proof in all sexual misconduct cases is a “preponderance of evidence” – whether it is more likely than not that the sexual misconduct occurred. If the evidence meets this standard, then the respondent MUST be found responsible of a violation of this code. To request that student conduct charges be filed against the accused. Conduct proceedings are governed by the procedures set forth in the Empire State College undergraduate and graduate catalogs at http://www.esc.edu/academic-affairs/catalogs-guides, as well as federal and New York state law, including the due process provisions of the United States and New York state constitutions.
Student Bill of Rights
Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the College.
Sanctions for incidents involving sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking include suspension or expulsion from the college. When facts and circumstances justify mitigating to a lesser sanction of probation, students found responsible may also be subject to required educational activities, limitations on campus activities, restricted access to locations and/or other sanctions.
Students found responsible for harassment that is targeted at a person or group based on factors such as perceived race, color, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, religion, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, national origin or ancestry may be subject to more severe sanctions.
For cases in which students are found responsible for sexual assault, the available sanctions are suspension with additional requirements and expulsions/dismissal.
No Contact Orders
When the accused is a student, the claimant may request to have the college issue a “No Contact Order,” meaning the continuing to contact the protected individual is a violation of college policy subject to additional conduct chares; if the accused and a protected person observe each other in a public place, it is the responsibility of the accused to leave the area immediately and without directly contacting the protected person. When a No Contact Order is put in place, in cases involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, both the respondent and the claimant may request a prompt review of the need for and terms of the No Contact Order. Parties may submit evidence in support of their request.
The Office of Academic Affairs maintains judicial records for five years from the date of last enrollment or graduation date, whichever is later, except in cases resulting in suspension or expulsion, in which case the record is maintained indefinitely. If a student matriculates into another program at Empire State College, the record remains active.
In accordance with NYS Law and SUNY Guidance, for crimes of violence, including, but not limited to sexual violence, defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Cleary Act established in 20 U.S.C. 1092 (f) (I) (F) (i) –(VIII), crimes covered under the legislation that require a transcript notation are: murder, rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape; robbery; aggravated assault; burglary; motor vehicle theft; manslaughter, and arson) a notation will be placed on the transcript of students found responsible after a conduct process that they were suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” or expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.” For the respondent who withdraws from the institution while such conduct charges are pending, and declines to complete the disciplinary process, a notation will be made on the transcript that they “withdrew with conduct charges pending.” Appeals seeking removal of a transcript notation for suspension should be submitted, in writing to the director of Collegewide student affairs. Such notation shall not be removed prior to one year after the conclusion of the suspension. Notations for expulsion shall not be removed. If a finding of responsibility is vacated for any reason, any such transcript notation shall be removed.