Student Code of Conduct

Disciplinary Policy and Procedure

PREAMBLE | All members of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (the College) community seek to work and study in a productive and supportive environment in which each person’s behavior is governed by respect for individuals and their property, college policies, and town, county, state, and federal laws. The following policy describes procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees for the College.

Purpose and Application

This policy and procedure is established to codify and regulate student disciplinary issues as they pertain to students attending the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. Policy and procedure for student discipline on the College campus is established and regulated by the College’s administration, with ultimate authority vested in the College’s Board of Trustees and President. All policies and procedures are established to facilitate the efficient operation of the College and to conform to all federal, state, and accreditation regulations and guidelines.

Definitions

  1. The “College” represents Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.
  2. The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the College, including those who are full-time and part-time, pursuing a baccalaureate or certificate, or enrolled in courses for professional or personal enrichment.
  3. The term “faculty member” or “instructor” means any person hired by the College to conduct classroom activities.
  4. The term “College official” includes any person employed by the College, performing administrative or professional responsibilities. The term “Dean” should indicate “V.P. of Academic Affairs and Dean” of the College.
  5. The term “member of the College community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, College official, or any other person employed by the College. The Director of Student Services shall determine a person’s status in a particular situation.
  6. The term “College premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, parking lots, and other property owned, used, or controlled by the College, including adjacent streets and sidewalks, all off-site studios, and surrounding property.
  7. The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for college recognition.
  8. The Director of Student Services is that person designated by the President of the College to be responsible for the administration of the Student Code.
  9. The term “policy” is defined as the written regulations of the College as found in, but not limited to, the Student Code, the Student Handbook, the College w web site, and the College Catalog.
  10. * The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to:
    • Use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations.
    • Dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, completing projects, or carrying out other assignments.
    • The acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the college faculty or staff.
  11. * The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers, projects, assignments, or other studio or academic materials via the Internet or any other source. The term “plagiarism” in the scope of an art college shall include the visual misrepresentation of original images and the unacknowledged use of original studio materials by others for purposes of completing projects.
    * Please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy in the Catalog for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism, and the College’s related policies

  12. General Policy
    With regard to student disciplinary issues and student code of conduct, it is the policy of the College to comply with all laws of the United States, Connecticut, and Old Lyme; and to adhere to all regulations and guidelines of the U.S. Department of Education, the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

    It is the duty and responsibility of all students to acquaint themselves with all provisions of the student disciplinary code and particularly with rules and regulations pertaining to personal conduct, and every student is responsible for adhering to all rules and regulations contained in the code, on and off campus, from the date of his or her initial registration at the College through his or her graduation or formal withdrawal from the College. The code may be amended at any time by authority of the President. A full and complete text of the code and other rules and regulations of personal conduct currently in effect, including all amendments, shall be on file in the Office of the Director of Student Services at all times and shall be
    available for inspection by students.

II. Jurisdiction of the College

College jurisdiction of disciplinary issues includes conduct which occurs both on and off the College premises for the duration of each student’s enrollment in the College.

III. Description of Misconduct

Any student found responsible for the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in this code. The following examples of misconduct are not all-inclusive.

  1. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
    1. Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty.
    2. Furnishing false information to any College official, faculty member, or office.
    3. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College document, record, or instrument of identification.
    4. Tampering with the election of any College-recognized student organization.
    5. Receiving or attempting to receive financial aid through misrepresentation, furnishing false information, forgery, alteration, or fraud.
    6. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other College activities, including its public-service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-College activities, when the act occurs on College premises.
    7. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment (including sexual harassment), coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person or contributes to a hostile working environment. The College’s denouncement of sexual harassment and related policies is published in the student and faculty handbooks.
    8. Attempted or actual theft, damage or defacement of property of the College, a member of the College community, or other personal or public property.
    9. Hazing, 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.
    10. Failure to comply with directions of College officials, employees, or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
    11. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys to the College premises or unauthorized entry to or use of the College premises.
    12. Violation of published College policies, rules, or regulations.
    13. Violation of federal, state, or local law on College premises or at College-sponsored or supervised activities.
    14. Use, possession, or distribution of narcotics or other controlled substances except as permitted by College policy.
    15. Public intoxication; use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by the law and by College regulations.
    16. Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals on College premises. Possession and/or use of firearms, fireworks, weapons and hazardous chemicals are strictly prohibited and in many cases violate state law. This applies to students and employees except where authorized to handle weapons or chemicals.
    17. Conduct which is disorderly including breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on College premises or at functions sponsored or participated in by the College.
    18. Theft or other abuse of the College’s information technology and digital resources, including but not limited to:
    19. Unauthorized entry into a digital file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
    20. Unauthorized transfer of a digital file.
    21. Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and/or password.
    22. Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or College official.
    23. Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages.
    24. Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the College computing system.
    25. Abuse of the Student Code and Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure, including but not limited to:
    26. Failure to obey the summons of the Disciplinary Committee or College Official.
    27. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before the Disciplinary Committee, a presidential inquiry, or appeal.
    28. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a Disciplinary Committee proceeding.
    29. Knowingly filing false allegations against a student.
    30. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of the Disciplinary Committee or the appellate process.
    31. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of the Disciplinary Committee prior to, or during the course of the proceeding.
    32. Harassment (verbal or physical) or intimidation of a member of the Disciplinary Committee or a witness prior to, during, or after the proceeding.
    33. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code.
    34. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the proceedings of the Disciplinary Committee.

    IV. Violation of Law and College Discipline

    College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of any law that is also a violation of this Student Code, if both violations result from the same factual situation, without regard to pending civil litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under the Student Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus.

    Procedures

    Please note: Stages I and II are designed to lead to resolution of a complaint. If it fails to resolve by mutual consent, the disciplinary committee shall be impaneled.

    I. The Complaint Process

    A. Stage I
    Any current member of the College community, including students, faculty, staff or administration may file a complaint against any student for misconduct. (Please note that complaints against members of the faculty, staff and administration are governed by the Staff and Faculty Handbooks.) The complaint must be submitted in writing to the Director of Student Services within 10 College business days from the date of the alleged incident. Every effort will be made at this point to resolve the conflict in a way that is agreeable to all parties involved. The Director of Student Services must document the outcome and share that written documentation with all involved parties no later than 10 College business days after resolution is determined. At this stage, the Director of Student Services has the authority to evaluate complaints and dispose of cases.

    Faculty

    The complaint must be submitted in writing to the Director of Student Services within 10 College business days from the date of the alleged incident. Every effort will be made at this point to resolve the conflict in a way that is agreeable to all parties involved. The Director of Student Services must document the outcome and share that written documentation with all involved parties no later than 10 College business days after resolution is determined. At this stage, the Director of Student Services has the authority to evaluate complaints and dispose of cases.

    B. Stage II
    If a complaint has not been resolved, or if the outcome of the resolution is unsatisfactory to any of the involved parties, any involved party or the Director of Student Services may ask the Dean to consider the complaint and determine its dispensation. The Dean reserves the right to refer the matter directly to the Disciplinary Committee. In such cases, the Dean shall ask the Director of Student Services to impanel the Disciplinary Committee.

    C. Presentation of Charges to Student
    All charges shall be clearly presented to the accused student in written form. A time shall be set for a hearing, not less than five nor more than fifteen business days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the Director of Student Services or the Dean.

    D. Preliminary Hearing
    Both the student against whom a complaint has been made and the Dean have the right to request a meeting with one another to review the case. An accused student who fails to meet with the Dean of the College or his/her designee for a preliminary hearing within three school days following receipt of notice of the charge without just reason for failure to do so waives the opportunity for a hearing. In such cases, the Dean may impose sanctions (described in the Sanctions section this document) against the student.

    II. The Disciplinary Committee

    A. Formation of the Committee
    A standing Disciplinary committee shall be chosen at the beginning of each academic year. The committee shall be chosen within 10 College business days of the start of the academic year.

    B. Impaneling the Committee
    In order to encourage a fair and balanced hearing, where the community and its constituents are represented, the Disciplinary Committee, impaneled by the Director of Student Services, shall be composed of:

    • Two administrative staff members chosen by the President
    • Two faculty representatives chosen by the Dean
    • Two student representatives chosen by the Director of Student Services The student against whom charges have been made has the right to invite, at any point of the disciplinary process, a staff or faculty member to serve as his/her advocate in any or all related meetings/discussions where the student would be present or engaged.

    C. Committee Officers
    1. Electing a Chair
    The Disciplinary Committee shall elect a Chair by majority vote when the committee is first assembled. The Chair has the responsibility of ensuring that the committee is timely, unbiased, and productive in its work. This includes scheduling, managing, and documenting the committee’s processes and determinations. Other officers may be chosen at the discretion of the Committee, by majority vote.
    2. Replacement of the Disciplinary Committee Chair
    a) In cases where the Chair steps down or resigns from the Committee, a vote for a new Chair will be coordinated by the Director of Student Services within a two-week period of receiving the Chair’s resignation.
    b) Should members of the committee wish to replace the sitting Chair, the concerned member/s should communicate directly with Dean. Should the Dean determine that the Chair should be replaced, a new Chair will be selected as noted above.
    3. Confidentiality of Proceedings
    All members of the Disciplinary Committee are expected to maintain absolute confidentiality with regard to all matters related to the Committee’s work, and the students involved in the case being considered. Committee members who compromise that confidentiality may be asked to resign from the Committee, and may be subject to further disciplinary action themselves.

    D. Disqualification of Committee Members

    1. If a member of the Disciplinary Committee
      • is filing the charge(s) against the accused student,
      • is related to the accused student, or
      • has another conflict of interest as defined by the Disciplinary Committee or the Dean. That member of the Disciplinary Committee must disqualify himself/herself from sitting on the Committee for this hearing. If that member of the Committee fails to disqualify himself/ herself, then the Director of Student Services or the Dean reserves the right to disqualify that Committee member from review of the case in question.
    2.  

    3. If a member of the Committee is disqualified from further review of a situation, then that member shall be replaced in the following manner:

      • The President of the College shall choose a replacement administrative staff member.
      • The Dean of the College shall choose a replacement faculty member.
      • The Director of Student Services shall choose a replacement member of the student body.
    4.  

    5. If any member of the Disciplinary Committee, the student or the student advocate has a concern regarding the composition of the Disciplinary Committee as it relates to the scheduled proceedings, the concern should be brought to the Director of Student Services and the Dean for consideration. If the Dean, in consultation with the Director of Student Services and the Chair, determines that the composition of the Committee should be changed, the procedure outlined above shall be followed.

    E. Committee Procedures

    Within the context of the policies and procedures stated herein, the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee shall be responsible for the Committee’s procedures, and must ensure that the accused student/s are provided with a fair and thorough opportunity to both present information and respond to the information provided by others during the hearing.

    III. Hearings

    1. Hearings shall be conducted by the Disciplinary Committee according to these guidelines:
      1. Hearings shall be conducted in private. At the request of the charged student, a student advocate chosen from the faculty, staff, or administration may be admitted.
      2. In hearings involving more than one charged student, the chairperson of the committee, at his/her discretion, may permit or require the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
      3. Only members of the Disciplinary Committee, the Director of Student Services, the Dean, the Assistant Dean, the accused student, and the student advocate may attend the full hearing. The Chair, with the council of the committee, has both the responsibility and the right to determine involvement of all others. As these procedures are purely to address violations of the College’s policies, legal representation for any involved persons is neither appropriate nor allowed in any stage of this process.
      4. All Disciplinary Committee proceedings are strictly confidential and may not be shared other than as noted above.
    2. Failure to Appear or Present Evidence

      1. If the accused student is unable to appear before the Disciplinary Committee on the date specified in the notice, he or she should notify the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee in writing, at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled date and time, requesting a new date. A compelling reason should be provided, with documentation as appropriate. The Disciplinary Committee Chair, in consultation with Committee members as needed, will consider the request and determine its outcome, including a new date and time for the hearing in cases where the request is approved.
      2. In cases where the request is denied, or when the accused student fails to appear
      3. before the Disciplinary Committee without having notified the Chair prior to the date and time specified in the notice, the Disciplinary Committee may consider all information at their disposal and determine the appropriate course of action, to include ruling on the case. No student, however, may be found to have violated the Student Code solely because the student failed to appear before the Disciplinary Committee.
      4. Guided by the values and practices of excellent scholarship and a responsible, ethical community, the Committee shall conduct the research necessary to come to a reasonable conclusion, and in doing so may request and review pertinent records and/ or files, or meet with individuals and groups as needed.
    3. Proceedings

      1. The Chair has the responsibility to direct proceedings in a manner that will ensure a productive and fair consideration of the case. In doing so, the Chair maintains the right to suspend the hearing in order to consult members of the College community as necessary.
      2. All involved persons are encouraged to share all relevant information with the Chair by the time of the hearing. Once the hearing is concluded, the Disciplinary Committee may not consider additional information unless it is presented as part of an appeal process, which is governed by the Office of the Dean.
      3. The deliberations of the Disciplinary Committee shall occur in a closed-door session, with only Committee members in attendance. The Committee shall determine (by majority vote) whether the student has violated the Student Code as charged.
      4. The Assistant Dean attends the full hearing, and produces a written record of the hearing’s process and outcome within five working days.
      5. The Chair of the Committee shall issue a letter to the student/s stating the outcome of the committee’s deliberations, any and all sanctions to be imposed, and any criteria or deadlines affecting the student’s future engagement with the Committee or College.
    4. IV. Sanctions

      All sanctions must be formally presented to and endorsed by the President.
      The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code:

      1. Loss of Privileges
        Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
      2. Restitution
        Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
      3. Warning
        A written reprimand that identifies the student’s violation/s of the Code.
      4. Probation
        A designated period of time during which more severe disciplinary sanctions may be imposed if the student is found to be in violation of any institutional regulation(s).
      5. Suspension from the College
        Separation of the student from the College for a definite period of time as determined by the Disciplinary Committee and stated in the letter to the student, after which the student is eligible to return. Students who are suspended during the semester will be withdrawn from all courses and noted as withdrawn from the College. Conditions for readmission will be specified at the time of suspension.
      6. Expulsion
        Permanent separation of the student from the College. Students who are expelled during the semester will be withdrawn from all courses and noted as expelled on the transcript.
      7. Other Sanctions
        The Dean, or the Committee, may suggest other sanctions that are suitable in light of the student’s offense.
        • Multiple Sanctions Any or all of sanctions 1-3 may be imposed for any single violation, in addition to one of the sanctions listed as 4 – 7.
        • Voting on Sanctions
          The Disciplinary Committee shall determine, by majority vote, the sanction/s for each violation.
        • Expunging Disciplinary Sanctions from the Record
        • Upon graduation, the student’s confidential record will be expunged of disciplinary actions other than suspension. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than suspension or expulsion shall be expunged from the student’s confidential record one year after final disposition of the case, upon application to the Dean.
        • Sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations found to responsible for violations of the Code, as may the removal of the group or organization’s privileges or funding.
        • Presentation of Findings and Sanctions to the President If a student or student group/organization is found by the Committee or the Dean to have violated the student code of conduct and as a result is expelled, the committee shall provide a copy of their findings and sanctions, and the written record of the hearing produced by the Assistant Dean, to the College’s President.

      V. Interim or Emergency Suspension

      The President of the College, or the President’s authorized designee, may impose an Emergency or Interim Suspension from academic status when, in the judgment of the President or the President’s authorized designee, such action appears necessary for reasons relating to

      • the safety and well-being of any member of the College community or of College property
      • a forcible interference by students with any College activity, or with the free movement of any member of the College community. Emergency suspension may be lifted only by the President or the President’s authorized designee. Interim suspension shall remain in effect until the Disciplinary Committee is impaneled and has taken action with regard to the student; however, interim suspension may be lifted earlier by action of the President or the President’s authorized designee.

      VI. Appeals

      1. Filing the Appeal
        A student may appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Committee to the President. In order to appeal, the charged student must file a written petition with the President’s Office within ten class days following the receipt of the written notification of the Disciplinary Committee’s decision. The written petition must articulate the rationale for such a request, accompanied by supporting materials as appropriate. The President or the President’s authorized designee shall review the record of the hearing and the past disciplinary records of the charged person. Ordinarily, no new evidence will be considered unless requested by the President after consultation with the Dean and the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee.
      2. Sanctions During the Appeal
        During the appeal, sanctions imposed by the Disciplinary Committee shall remain in effect. A student suspended or expelled may request, from the President, permission to attend classes until the President or the President’s authorized designee has made a decision on the appeal.
      3. Appeal Decision
        The President may:
        • refuse to consider the appeal, in effect affirming the decision of the Disciplinary Committee.
        • consider the appeal and affirm the decision.
        • refer the decision of the Disciplinary Committee back to the Disciplinary Committee if, in the opinion of the President, the Committees work was either incomplete or in error, or exceedingly harsh. The President may also re-impanel the Disciplinary Committee to consider new information if the information was both unavailable at the time of the hearing, of sufficient importance to warrant reconsideration by the Disciplinary Committee. The President may consider the appeal and affirm the Disciplinary Committee’s findings, but change the Committee’s sanction(s) to either reduce or increase the severity of the sanction.

        If a student exhausts the College’s grievance and complaint procedures and is not satisfied with the outcome, the student may seek assistance from the College’s state licensing authority, the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, 61 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105-2326; phone 1-800-842-0229; http://www.ctohe.org/studentcomplaints.shtml or the College’s accrediting body, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.; 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803-4514; phone 1-855-886-3272;   http://cihe.neasc.org/information_for_the_public/comments_amp_complaints.

      VII. Reinstatement of a Student on Suspension

        A. Request for Reinstatement
      1. A student on suspension may apply for early reinstatement. The student must make his/her request in writing to the Dean and demonstrate just cause for reinstatement. The student also must articulate the corrective measures he/she has taken and/or plans to take.
      2. Limitations on Requesting Reinstatement
        1. A suspended student cannot request reinstatement until at least fifty percent (50%) of the suspension period has expired.
        2. A suspended student cannot request reinstatement more than once for a particular occurrence of suspension.
        3. A request for reinstatement may be denied by the Dean should the request be incomplete, illegible, vague, or fail to address the requirements as stated in the student’s Letter of Suspension.
      3.  

      4. Impaneling the Disciplinary Committee

        1. The Director of Student Services shall impanel the Disciplinary Committee within five (5) business days of receiving the student’s request for reinstatement.
        2. The Disciplinary Committee shall review the record of the student, the record of hearings, the request for reinstatement, and other relevant information.
        3. The student shall be given the opportunity to address the Disciplinary Committee.
        4. The Disciplinary Committee shall decide whether or not to approve the student’s request for reinstatement by majority vote.
        5. There is no appeal to the Disciplinary Committee’s decision regarding reinstatement of a student on suspension

      VIII. Interpretation and Revision

      A. Any questions of interpretation regarding the Student Code shall be referred to the Dean of the College or his/her designee for final determination.
      B. The Student Code shall be reviewed at least every year under the direction of the Director of Student Services.
      C. Modifications shall be made as necessary to the Code, with the date of implementation to be effective as of the beginning of the next academic year, unless mandated otherwise by the President.
      D. Revision of the Student Code shall be made upon the advice and consent of the President.