Code of Student Conduct

Code of Student Conduct

Introduction

Expectations

Fei Tian College is an academic community dedicated to the cultivation of knowledge, skills, and virtues in accordance with the College’s mission. The College acknowledges core values based in Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance that come to characterize the Fei Tian experience. Membership in the community brings with it the obligation to conduct oneself in a manner befitting the College’s mission and values.

Students are expected to make choices that preserve a safe environment, to practice responsible citizenship, to respect the rights of others, and to be accountable for their own actions and the conduct of their guests. Failure to uphold College policies as well as the law may result in disciplinary action under the authority of this Code.

Purpose

This Code aims to encourage positive behaviors and discourage actions that are inconsistent with Fei Tian’s mission and values, thereby protecting the character of the College community. Publishing this Code puts students on notice of Fei Tian’s expectations for conduct and actions that would fall short. It is the College’s hope that by following this Code, students will become truly exemplary individuals who embody the virtues from humanity’s cultural legacy.

Authority

As members of an academic community and the greater society, students are subject to the provisions of both College policies and local, state, and federal laws.

Students may be accountable both to the College and to civil and criminal authorities for acts that constitute violations of both this Code and law. Conduct proceedings at the College may proceed independent of and during the pendency of external proceedings.

Ultimate authority over student conduct is vested in the College President, who has discretion to take immediate and final action for any violation of College policies. Such authority may be delegated as set forth in this Code or in other appropriate policies adopted by the President.

  1. It is delegated to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (for academic matters) and the Director of Student Affairs (for non-academic matters), and their designees, the authority to take immediate and appropriate interim protective action whenever student action jeopardizes the well-being of that student or others or is damaging to the character of the Fei Tian community.
  2. It is reserved to instructors the right to temporarily dismiss from class students who create disorder in the education process pursuant to College policy.

Prohibited Conduct

The following are types of prohibited conduct, with non-exhaustive examples, that may result in disciplinary action. Where appropriate, even attempts to commit any of these acts or failure to prevent one’s guests from committing these acts may be treated as violations of this Code.

  1. Academic Misconduct: Any action, behavior, or conduct that violates academic integrity, including but not limited to cheating, falsification, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, and engaging in prohibited behavior.
  2. Damage to or Misuse of Property: Includes unauthorized entry onto or use or misuse of College property or the property of others.
  3. Dangerous Conduct/Items: Intentionally or carelessly engaging in conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of, or causes physical harm to, any person, including the violator. Includes interfering with fire safety such as by tampering with fire safety equipment. Also includes the use, possession, or storage of any dangerous games, firearms, fireworks or explosives, other weapons, fireworks, dangerous chemicals, drugs, smoking devices, or alcohol.
  4. Disorderly Conduct: Acting in a manner that disturbs, interferes with, or unreasonably imposes on another/others.
  5. Harassment: Any actions, threats, gestures, or words directed toward another person that are intended to or that tend to incite a breach of the peace, create a hostile environment, or cause emotional distress to that person because of the humiliating, intimidating, insulting, coercive, or alarming nature of the conduct.
  6. Interference/Negative Influence: Includes interfering with and/or exerting a negative influence on other(s), the campus environment, or a College activity, including but not limited to studying, teaching, social events, and College administration, policy, or emergency services.
  7. Non-academic Dishonesty: Includes knowingly furnishing false information to the College or a member of the College community; forgery, misuse, unauthorized alteration, and/or creation of documents or other objects; fraud, through act or omission, committed against another; or knowingly initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning, or threat.
  8. Non-compliance: Failure to comply with reasonable directives of College officials acting in performance of their duties. Examples include eating or sleeping during class, and talking out of turn.
  9. Sanction Violation: Violating the terms of any student conduct sanction imposed in accordance with student conduct procedures.
  10. Sexual Offenses: Includes but is not limited to sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and indecent exposure.
  11. Solicitation: Unauthorized solicition, sale, or promotion of any goods or services on College-owned or -operated property or at College-sponsored events.
  12. Theft/Unauthorized Possession of Property: Includes theft of property or of services, possessing stolen property, or unauthorized possession of College property or the property of others.
  13. Violating Other College Policies: Any violation of other published College policies, rules, or regulations, such as on-campus residence rules or policies published in the College Catalog and Addendum policies or other official publications.
  14. Violation of Law: Includes violation of local, state, or federal laws or regulations.

Dress and Grooming Standards

The dress and grooming of students should be modest, neat, and clean.

Clothing is inappropriate when it is revealing, sleeveless, strapless, short (skirt and pants length should be knee-length or longer), excessively form-fitting, or unnaturally ripped or faded. In addition, logos or symbols that promote inappropriate messages should not be worn. Footwear should not have excessively high heels or expose the toes (unless in the residences). Heavy and dramatic makeup and unnatural-looking hair dyes should be avoided. Exposed tattoos and piercings or jewelry affixed to the nose, tongue, cheek, lip, or eyebrow are inappropriate.

Sanctions

The College intends that this Code be administered in a collegial manner to educate students as to their moral responsibilities and aid them in developing their character. Nevertheless, the College recognizes that there may be instances in which the nature and severity of the student’s behavior may warrant disciplinary proceedings, up to and including expulsion.

Types of sanctions that may be imposed in accordance with this Code of Student Conduct are as follows:

  1. Warning – an oral warning to bring to the student’s attention a new or ongoing deficiency in conduct.
  2. Probation – a status that puts the student on formal notice and may carry special terms to regain good standing. Requires a conduct proceeding and a review after the probationary period.
  3. Suspension – a sanction that imposes an involuntary absence on the part of the student, and carries special terms to regain good standing. Requires a conduct proceeding and a review after the suspension period.
  4. Revocation of financial aid awards.
  5. Dismissal – a sanction that completely removes the student from his or her program and separates the student permanently from the College.
  6. Discretionary Sanctions – other sanctions that bear reasonable relation to the violation for which the student has been sanctioned may be imposed instead of or in addition to other sanctions.

Disciplinary Procedures

The College, at its discretion, may choose to investigate reported or suspected Code violations. Generally, the College will follow the procedural guidelines outlined below. However, the College reserves the right, at its discretion, to vary from these procedures according to the circumstances of individual matters, so long as the student receives (1) notice of the nature of the alleged or suspected violation(s) and (2) an opportunity to respond prior to the implementation of any disciplinary action.

Disciplinary procedures are under the direction of the Vice President of Academic Affairs (for academic matters) and the Director of Student Affairs (for non-academic matters) (“responsible administrators”).

Reporting Violations

Any person may report a suspected violation of this Code of Student Conduct to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (for academic violations) or the Director of Student Affairs (for non-academic violations) or designee, who will review the reported allegation to determine the appropriate action to be taken from the following: 1) begin an investigation into the matter if he or she determines the allegation(s), if proven, could be considered a violation of the Code; 2) refer the matter back to the Director of Student Affairs for the matter to be dealt with informally if the allegations do not constitute a violation of student conduct; or 3) decide to take no further action with a written explanation of this decision. Reports should be made using the student incident report form, within a reasonable time of the alleged violation. Disciplinary action may be pursued if there is enough information available to substantiate the reported conduct.

If information is discovered alleging that a past student of the College committed a Code violation at the time he or she was a student, a report shall be made to the responsible administrator, who shall determine the procedures to follow and the appropriate sanction.

Conduct Proceedings

After receiving a violation report, the Director of Student Affairs or a representative assigned to the case will (1) analyze the report and evidence; (2) conduct an investigation and interview the student and any other persons having information about the student and/or the allegations as the College deems appropriate; (3) notify the student if it appears that the alleged violation(s) occurred; (4) prompt the student to respond to the allegations and evidence; (5) assess the credibility of the witnesses and strength of the evidence; and (6) prepare a decision and recommended course of action.

To initiate a disciplinary action, the responsible administrator or a representative assigned to the case will shall complete the student incident report form by going through the following steps: (1) analyze the report and evidence; (2) conduct an investigation and interview the student and any other persons having information about the student and/or the allegations as the College deems appropriate; (3) notify the student if it appears that the alleged violation(s) occurred; (4) prompt the student to respond to the allegations and evidence; (5) assess the credibility of the witnesses and strength of the evidence; and (6) prepare a decision and recommended course of action, and if applicable, any related conditions for reinstatement in good standing.

A student facing potential disciplinary sanctions other than an oral warning will be given a conduct proceeding in the form of a disciplinary meeting with the responsible administrator or a designated school agent. If one incident gives rise to both academic and non-academic issues, both undergraduate and graduate issues, and/or directly involves the responsible administrator, the President or designee will decide which administrator(s) are to handle the matter.

The purpose of the disciplinary meeting is to present the student with the evidence gathered and to provide him or her an opportunity to make representations. In limited circumstances (e.g., a risk of harm to the witness) a witness’s identity may be kept confidential unless to do so would prejudice the fairness of the proceedings.

The following procedural guidelines are to be applied in all conduct proceedings but deviations from prescribed procedures shall not automatically invalidate a decision. Formal rules of evidence shall not be applied.

  1. The student shall have an opportunity to respond to the information related to the alleged violation and may submit additional relevant information.
  2. A student who fails to appear at a disciplinary meeting may be adjudicated in absentia.
  3. The College participants will then decide, on the basis of the evidence and the student’s representations, whether the allegation is proven. When there are significant discrepancies between the supporting information and the student’s response, the College will attempt to ascertain the truth and exercise reasonable discretion. In general, any information that is considered relevant will be reviewed.
  4. If the allegation is considered to be proven, depending on the nature of the disciplinary offense, the Director of Student Affairs will ask the student to submit any additional evidence to decide on the appropriate sanction.
  5. The outcome of a conduct proceeding is to be determined based solely on the reasonable conclusion of the designated trier, and shall depend on the totality of all relevant factors, including but not limited to: the nature and severity of the transgression, the student’s attitude, and previous history.
  6. The outcome of the conduct proceeding shall be conveyed to the student.
  7. It is expected that most disciplinary cases will be resolved at this stage.

The outcome of a conduct proceeding cannot serve as the basis for a grievance.

Appeal

Generally, the outcome of a conduct proceeding is a final decision. In proceedings that result in suspension, dismissal, or revocation of financial aid, however, a case may be appealed to the President under the following guidelines.

Within five calendar days of the outcome of the conduct proceeding, a letter of appeal must be submitted by the student to the Office of the President. The appeal must specify grounds that would justify consideration; specifically, state 1) significant procedural error that changes the findings of fact of the proceeding or 2) new evidence that significantly alters the findings of fact. This appeal may not be made on the basis of general dissatisfaction with the decision of the trier. The President will review the record and letter of appeal, and any other relevant information arising in the context of the appeal. The President may also make independent inquiries to clarify statements in the record. After reviewing this information, the President shall render a decision within no more than 45 calendar days of the filing of the appeal. The President may, at her sole discretion, modify the sanction applied to the student based upon the appeal. Further, the President may refer the matter back to the responsible administrator for further evaluation with accompanying instructions if she determines that prescribed guidelines were not followed or relevant information was not appropriately considered. The President will deliver a decision to the student and to the responsible administrator. Except in the case of a remand, the President’s decision is final with no provision for further review. The decision on appeal cannot serve as the basis for a complaint.

Disciplinary Files and Records

The files of students found in violation of any prohibited conduct will normally be retained as a disciplinary record in the student’s file. Disciplinary records shall be maintained under the authority of the Vice President of Academic Affairs (for academic violations), and Student Affairs (non-academic violations), in accordance with the College’s record retention policy.