Non-Academic Code of Conduct

Updated August, 2021

Statement of Responsibilities

As members of the Tompkins Cortland Community College, students have an obligation to know and comply with the rules and regulations of the institution as well as all local, state and federal laws; any violation is cause for disciplinary action.  Students are expected to review this code regularly and acknowledge that they have done so at each registration for classes.

A. General Provisions

1. This code shall apply to any and all lands or facilities owned, leased, or operated by the College, as well as any location where a student is engaged in a College activity, unless otherwise noted in the code. Examples include, but are not limited to, travel by athletic teams to events off campus, travel on academic field trips, and engagement by other College organizations in activities off campus.It applies to all behavior in virtual learning environments used by the College. It may also apply, at the discretion of the College, to conduct which occurs off campus and which adversely affects the College, the College community, or the interests and mission of the College.

2. Any individual enrolled in courses, either full time or part time, at the time of the alleged violation of the Student Code, as well as individuals on College premises for any purpose related to registration for enrollment, is considered a student and subject to the Code of Conduct. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship as a student with the College are also considered "students" and, therefore, held to the provisions of this Code.

3. A student who assists in violating or incites others to violate any provision of this code may be charged as a responsible participant.

4. An attempt to violate any provision of this code will be considered a violation.

5. Students shall be responsible for the action(s) of their guest(s).

6.  The college will use your TC3 email as the means for communication during a conduct process.  All students are expected to check their college email regularly during each week in order to receive important college communications.

B. Compliance with College Officials

1. Students are required to provide proper identification upon request or otherwise comply with the reasonable requests of any College employee, including, but not limited to, student center staff, residence life staff, dining services staff, and campus police staff acting in the performance of their duties.

2.  In the event campus police and/or law enforcement officials make a request of a student in regard to an ongoing investigation or incident, it is expected that students comply fully with the request/directive made by such officials within the confines of the law.  

3. Students are required to comply with and complete all disciplinary sanctions imposed in accordance with this code.

C. Personal Honesty

Students will be held responsible for all acts of dishonesty, including personal misrepresentation, knowingly furnishing false information to the College, forgery, intentionally cashing checks with insufficient funds, alteration or fraudulent possession or use of documents or instruments of identification.

D. Freedom of Movement, Speech and College Activities

Intentional disruption or obstruction of teaching, guest lectures, research, administration, free movement, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities may result in disciplinary action. Disruption or obstruction for purposes of this Code includes video/audio recording when it is interfering with College activities.

E. Personal Respect and Safety

    1.  Any action or situation involving verbal or mental harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying or other conduct that recklessly or intentionally endangers or threatens the health, safety, or welfare of any person on College-owned or -leased property or at College-sponsored activities, is prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action. Examples include actions through electronic means including but not limited to non-consensual sexting, use of social media for inappropriate intent including to foster, promote or otherwise seek to engage in any of the activities set forth herein. 

    2.  Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm to any person, or threatening to cause physical harm, is prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action. Students cannot justify such behavior as defensive if:
        A. The behavior is a physical response to verbal provocation;
        B. The student has the ability to leave the situation, but instead chooses to respond physically;
        C. In circumstances where such actions are punitive or retaliatory.

    3. All forms of sexual offense are expressly prohibited. The following are considered to be acts of sexual misconduct:

        A.    Sexual Assault – Forcible penetration of the mouth, anus, or vagina by a body part and/or an object without affirmative consent or with someone who is incapable of consent. Sexual assault can include but is not limited to sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, and fellatio.

        B.    Sexual Abuse – Intentional, non-consensual touching of sexual or other intimate parts of another person, either directly or through clothing without consent or with someone who is incapable of consent.

        C.    Sexual Exploitation – Any non-consensual act committed by an individual with the purpose of arousing the libido or sexual interest of themselves or the person towards which the action is directed, or for the purpose of establishing sexual fear and/or dominance. Any situation where a student takes sexual advantage of another for his/her own gain or benefit; or for the benefit of someone else. Examples of sexual exploitation may include but are not limited to; prostituting another person, non-consensual audio or videotaping of sexual activity, unauthorized presentation of such recordings, allowing others to observe a personal consensual sexual act without the knowledge or affirmative consent of the partner, engaging in acts of peeping or voyeurism.

        D.    Intimate Partner Violence – Intimate Partner Violence includes Dating Violence and Domestic Partner Violence. Intimate Partner Violence can occur in relationships of the same or different genders. 
        Dating Violence is any act of violence, including physical, sexual, psychological, and verbal violence, committed by a person who is or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim.

        Domestic Violence is violence against a current or former spouse or intimate partner, a person with whom children are shared or with whom cohabitation is occurring.

        E.    Stalking – Intentionally causing another person to fear for their safety and/or the safety of their property.

Any sexual harassment which meets the definition of the Title IX regulations issued in effect August 14, 2020, and for which there is a formal, signed complaint, will be seen under the Title IX grievance process. Other harassment will be seen through the student conduct process.

Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent.  

The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender. 

    -Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual activity between or with any party does not constitute consent to any subsequent sexual act.

    -Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

    -Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.

    -Consent may not be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and unable to give consent.

    -Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.

    -When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.

4. Disruptive, excessively noisy, or indecent conduct is cause for disciplinary action.

5. The College prohibits a student from engaging in or threatening to engage in behavior that poses a danger of causing physical harm to the student’s self.

6. Hazing, defined as intentionally or recklessly subjecting any person to the risk of bodily harm or severe emotional distress, subjecting a person to treatment intended to put that person in a humiliating or disconcerting position, or causing or encouraging any person to commit an act that would be a violation of law or college regulations for the purpose of initiating, promoting, fostering, or confirming any form of affiliation with any group, including, but not limited to, registered organizations or athletic teams on College-owned or -operated property or at College-sponsored activities is prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action.

Examples of hazing include, but are not limited to: forced consumption of alcohol, drugs, or any other substances; sleep deprivation; use of alcohol in drinking games or contests; paddling; forced tattooing or branding; creation of excessive fatigue; severe psychological shocks or humiliation (as determined by a reasonable person under all the circumstances); compulsory servitude; theft or misuse of property belonging to others.  Further examples include actions through electronic means including but not limited to sexting, or use of social media for inappropriate purposes.

It shall not constitute a defense to the charge of hazing that the participant(s) took part voluntarily, that they voluntarily assumed the risks or hardship of the activity, or that no injury, physical or mental, in fact was suffered. All participants in hazing action are subject to disciplinary action.

7. Possession or use of firearms, ammunition, fireworks, or other dangerous substances or weapons on College-owned or -operated property is strictly forbidden and is cause for disciplinary action. Tompkins Cortland Community College adheres to all New York state laws regarding firearms, ammunition, fireworks, and other dangerous substances or weapons. This includes, but is not limited to, hunting rifles, hand guns, paint ball guns, BB guns, very realistic looking toy guns or replicas, switchblades, gravity knives, bows and arrows, stun guns, self-defense spray devices including pepper spray, ammunition of any kind and any martial arts weapons (ex. chuka sticks, throwing stars, etc.)

8. False fire alarms, false reports of fire or other dangerous conditions, failure to respond to fire alarms, and tampering with fire equipment are all cause for disciplinary action.

9. Recklessly or intentionally starting a fire or causing an explosion is cause for disciplinary action.

F. Alcohol, drugs and tobacco

    1. Attendance in class or at any College activity or on any College property under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causing a disturbance, public annoyance or alarm and/or affecting the learning environment, is cause for disciplinary action.

    2. Unauthorized use or possession of alcohol is cause for disciplinary action. 

    3. Sale, possession, exchange or use of a controlled substance, other than for medication prescribed by a doctor, is prohibited on campus, consistent with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226). Drug paraphernalia including, but not limited to: bongs, water pipes, or hypodermic needles that are not specifically required for the administration of prescribed medications are not allowed on campus.
        a.    Use or possession of marijuana, or its derivatives, including medical marijuana used or possessed under New York State Compassionate Care Art, is strictly prohibited on college property. Federal laws (including the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act) prohibit marijuana use, possession and/or cultivation at educational institutions and on the premises of other recipients of federal funds. Therefore, even students with medical prescriptions will not be able to possess or use marijuana on Tompkins Cortland campuses. 
        b.    Misuse/abuse of a dangerous or harmful substance for purpose of intoxication, except for prescribed therapeutic purposes, is also cause for disciplinary action. Inhaling or ingesting a substance (including but not limited to nitrous oxide, glue, paint, gasoline, solvent, etc.) other than in connection with its intended purpose is also prohibited. 
        c.    Possession and/or use of a prescription drug other than by the person to whom the drug is prescribed and in accordance with the prescription is prohibited. 

    4. No smoking, vaping, use of e-cigarette products is permitted in any buildings per New York State law. Tompkins Cortland also does not allow chewing tobacco and other nicotine-based products, other than for tobacco cessation (nicotine replacement therapy). Smoking and use of these products is permitted adjacent to campus or campus-related buildings only in designated areas (see signage). 

    5. Any alcohol, drugs, or paraphernalia found on any college properties will be confiscated and destroyed by Campus Police. 

G. Property

    1. Theft of personal or College property, including theft of services, from Tompkins Cortland Community College-owned or -operated property is prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action. Unauthorized possession of College, community, or personal property on Tompkins Cortland Community College-owned or -operated property is prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action. Unauthorized possession of College property beyond Tompkins Cortland Community College-owned or -operated property is also prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action.

    2. Duplicating keys, computer access codes, or other devices meant to afford access to restricted areas or information is prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action.

    3. Unauthorized entry into, tampering with, or use of facilities, property, services, or resources belonging to the College, its community members, guests, or licensees is prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action.

    4. Defacing, damaging, or destroying property belonging to the College, its community members, guests, or licensees is prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action.

H. Solicitation

Students may not sell, solicit, advertise, or canvass on College-owned or -operated property or solicit parents, alumni, or members of the campus community without advance authorization from the appropriate administrative agency.

I. Abuse of the Student Conduct System  

Abusing the Student Conduct System is prohibited. Such behaviors include, but are not limited to:
    1. Failure to obey a summons as a witness to a conduct hearing.
    2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information in a conduct hearing.
    3. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a student conduct hearing.
    4. Knowingly filing a student conduct referral without cause.
    5. Attempting to discourage an individual’s participation in or use of the Student Conduct System.
    6. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a Student Conduct board prior 
    to and/or during or after a student conduct hearing.
    7. Harassment and/or intimidation of a member of a Student Conduct board prior to 
    and/or during or after a student conduct hearing.
    8. Failure to comply with the sanctions imposed under the student code of conduct.
    9. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the 
    Student Conduct System.

J. College Regulations

Violation of any written College policies or regulations (including, but not limited to, Residence Life Handbook, Alcohol Policy, Weapons on Campus, Computer Resources Use Protocol, Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment, Bias Crimes Prevention, Sexual Assault Prevention, Maintenance of Order on Campus) is cause for disciplinary action. This includes any guidelines or expectations from outside entities (Department of Health, State University of New York, etc.) as outlined by the college. ALL VISITORS TO RESIDENCE LIFE PROPERTY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR UNDERSTANDING AND COMPLYING WITH ALL RESIDENCE LIFE RULES AND REGULATIONS AS SET FORTH IN THE RESIDENCE LIFE HANDBOOK.

K. Criminal Conduct

Violations of federal, state or local statutes committed on College-owned or -operated property or off campus, in the discretion of the college, are considered violations of this code, whether or not such violations are referred to and/or prosecuted by public officials. Many such violations, including all violations classified as felonies under the New York State Penal Law, will be referred to the appropriate authorities and will also be addressed through the Tompkins Cortland conduct system.

Good Samaritan Policy 

The health and safety of all Tompkins Cortland students is of utmost importance.  The health and safety of every student at Tompkins Cortland is of utmost importance. The college recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. The college strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to institution officials. A bystander acting in good faith or a reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to college officials or law enforcement will not be subject to code of conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault.

Abuse of alcohol and other drugs can create life-threatening situations that require an immediate response from emergency services personnel. ANYTIME you see a situation where another student is in danger – from drugs or alcohol, of being physically or sexually assaulted (including incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault), or anytime their physical well-being is in immediate danger, DO THE RIGHT THING, BE A GOOD BYSTANDER, CALL 911 FOR HELP.  Bystanders or reporting individuals acting in good faith to disclose any incident of physical assault or drug/alcohol poisoning to college officials or law enforcement will not be subject to punitive consequences, for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the incident. 

Suspendable Offenses:

The following violations may result in summary removal from the residence halls and/or suspension from the college pending the conduct hearing:
•    Involvement in any type of physical violence
•    Dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
•    Sale of drugs
•    Repeated or high level alcohol or drug violations
•    Harassment in any form, as a group or individual
•    Use, possession, manufacture, or storage of any weapon
•    Engaging in acts which violate federal, state, county, or local laws or ordinances
•    Intentional or reckless initiation of any false report (fire alarms, false reporting of a crime…)
•    Obstruction, disruption or interference with the academic process or functions of the college

Conduct History

Any time a student is found responsible for any violation(s) of College rules and regulations and, as a result, is sanctioned through a hearing process that sanction becomes a part of the student’s conduct history. A student’s conduct history is a confidential record of disciplinary action related to the student that is maintained in the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. A student’s conduct history is maintained throughout the student’s tenure at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
When a student is charged with any violations of College rules and regulations, the student’s conduct history is subject to full review by the administrative hearing officer adjudicating the case. The reason for such review is that a student’s conduct history is an important factor in determining an appropriate sanction in the current case. Such review will occur regardless of whether the sanction(s) for prior offense(s) are active or closed. Records of disciplinary suspension or expulsion from Tompkins Cortland Community College are permanently maintained by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Rights of an Accused Student

1. The right to receive a charge letter which includes a brief description of the incident and initial charges, and if requested, be allowed to examine any redacted written statements of evidence which the College plans to use in the hearing. 
2. The right to an expeditious hearing of the student’s case. 
3. The right to reasonable time, at least 48 hours, to prepare for the hearing.  
4. The right to present their perspective and any relevant evidence at the hearing. 
5. The right to ask individuals to present witness evidence/testimonials.  
6. The right to an advisor. Please note: An advisor is permitted to give advice to the student on the organization of their thoughts and planned presentation of materials before a hearing and can accompany/advise the student during the hearing, however, an advisor may not address the hearing board directly nor respond to any questions for the respondent.  An advisor may not serve in any other capacity during the hearing including speaking on the behalf of their clients, questioning/addressing those present, or serving as a witness. 
7. The right to ask questions of the hearing board/administrative hearing officer and of any witnesses. 
8. The right to present a summary statement at the close of the hearing. 
9. The right to a decision by the hearing board or the administrative hearing officer based solely upon the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing.  

  • a. If the charges are found to be true, a decision on a sanction can be based upon the hearing and other matters of record. 
  • b. A decision letter ideally within 5 business days of the hearing. 

10. The right to appeal the decision of the hearing board or administrative hearing officer.