S-1-0 Student Rights and Responsibilities

Central Oregon Community College reserves the right to make changes in the rights, regulations, procedures, and information contained herein as educational, financial, and legal considerations require, subject to and consistent with established procedures and authorizations for making such changes. Academic policies in the Central Oregon Community College Catalog supersede the academic policies listed in this document if in conflict. Additionally, some academic programs may have additional student conduct requirements in addition to the policies contained in this document.


Central Oregon Community College exists for the open exchange of knowledge and philosophies, the development of capacity for critical judgment and the creation of an atmosphere conducive to the independent search for truth and to the gaining of practical experience in our community. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. The institution has a responsibility to develop policies, which encourage the broadest participation of the college community.

The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility. The purpose of the Student Rights and Responsibilities document is to enumerate the essential provisions for students' freedom and for students to understand how they participate responsibly in the college community.

COCC is committed to providing equal opportunity in its recruitment, admission and educational programs, activities, and employment, without discrimination on the basis of age, disability, gender, national origin, race, color, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Various state and federal laws enforce this policy. These include Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in education, and Section 504, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

Central Oregon Community College is committed to the prevention of illicit drug use and the abuse of alcohol by both students and employees. In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-690), Title V, Subtitle D) and the Drug-Free Schools and Committees Act Amendment of 1989 ( Public Law 101-226), it shall be the policy of Central Oregon Community College to maintain a drug-free campus for all employees and students. In accordance with ORS 475.300 - 475.346, COCC's Drug-Free Campus Policy includes prohibiting the use of medical marijuana on campus property or for any campus- sponsored class, activity or event regardless of location.

Faculty, staff and students are protected from discrimination and harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Persons who, because of a physical or learning disability, need special accommodation should contact the 504/SSD Coordinator in advance of their need for accommodation. Further inquiries may be directed to the Affirmative Action Officer, c/o COCC's Human Resources office.

Principles of Community at Central Oregon Community College

The Community of Learners at Central Oregon Community College is dedicated to personal and academic excellence. Choosing to join the community obligates each member to a code of civilized behavior and responsibility for academic success. This introduction submits that membership in the Central Oregon Community College community is not without its responsibilities. It is understood that joining is evidence of subscribing to certain ideals and an agreement to strive for the level of achievement and virtue suggested by the following:

The Practice of Personal and Academic Integrity
A commitment to this principle encourages honesty and fairness in and out of the classroom. It should eliminate cheating, plagiarism, lying, deceiving, and making excuses and dishonesty in academic and professional relationships.

Respect the Dignity of all Persons
A commitment to this principle encourages understanding. It is inconsistent with behaviors that compromise or demean the dignity of individuals or groups, including discrimination, intimidation and hazing, taunting, baiting, ridiculing, insulting and harassing other individuals.

Respect for the Rights and Property of Others
Commitment to these principles is inconsistent with all forms of theft, vandalism, misappropriation, and malicious damage to or desecration and destruction of property. Respect for others' personal rights is inconsistent with any behavior that violates an individual's right to move about freely, to express appropriately and enjoy privacy.

Promote Empathy and Learn from Differences in People, Ideas and Opinions
Support for equal rights and opportunities for all members of the community regardless of their age, sex, race, religion, disability, ethnic heritage, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and political, social, other affiliation or disaffiliation.

Promote a Healthy and Safe Learning Environment
A commitment to this principle is a pledge to be compassionate and considerate, to avoid behaviors that are insensitive, inhospitable or inciteful or that unjustly or arbitrarily inhibit another's ability to feel safe and welcomed in his or her pursuit of personal and academic excellence.

Allegiance to these Principles
Community members are not only obliged to embrace these principles and appropriate actions but also have a responsibility to confront, challenge and respond to or report inappropriate behaviors whenever and wherever they are encountered.

SECTION I: Teaching and Learning Values

The following shared values concerning teaching and learning at Central Oregon Community College express those beliefs which guide the institution in the development of the mission, goals, philosophy and operational values.

  1. Central Oregon Community College values learning
    To support this value, the College:
    • creates an environment conducive to teaching and learning
    • supports life-long learning
    • encourages the free interchange of ideas and beliefs
    • provides the resources necessary for teaching and learning
    • provides advisement and counseling to support the needs of students
    • expects everyone to participate actively in the learning process
    • addresses the learning needs of the community
    • emphasizes communication skills
    • provides appropriate technology to support teaching and learning
    • encourages and supports learning outside the classroom
  2. Central Oregon Community College values change in order to meet educational needs and to improve learning
    To support this value, the College
    • encourages and supports innovation and creativity
    • responds to the changing educational needs of the community
    • anticipates the future needs of the community
    • supports staff development
    • respects and accepts different learning and teaching styles
  3. Central Oregon Community College values access to learning while maintaining quality
    To support this value, the College;
    • provides supportive services to assist students in meeting their educational goals
    • offers students developmental learning opportunities
    • provides professional/technical education and training which prepares students with work-force skills necessary for employment at a family-wage level
    • expects students to meet defined standards
    • provides academic programs which prepare the graduate to succeed in upper division learning
    • provides educational opportunities for personal development
    • structures the admissions process to encourage enrollment
    • provides a variety of scholarships and financial aid programs
  4. Central Oregon Community College values diversity in order to broaden understanding and learning
    To support this value, the College
    • encourages interdisciplinary educational programs
    • teaches students about diverse cultural, economic, political, and social environments
    • helps students to understand themselves and others

Definitions When Used in the Code

  1. The term College means Central Oregon Community College.
  2. The term student includes all persons enrolled in or auditing any course at Central Oregon Community College, those who attend post-secondary educational institutions other than Central Oregon Community College and who reside in college residence halls and any persons dually admitted to OSU-Cascades. Any course registration, whether in a non-degree or degree seeking program, characterizes the person as a student from the point of registration to the completion of course of study. Persons who are not officially
    enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college are considered, for the purposes of this code, students. Examples include, but are not limited to, students who are enrolled, but
    not taking classes due to an academic break, medical or other personal leave and/or students participating in study abroad programs.
  3. The term "faculty member" means any person hired by the college to conduct classroom activities.
  4. The term "college official" includes any person employed by the college, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
  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. A person's status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee for the purposes of this code.
  6. The term "college premises" includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the college.
  7. The terms "club" and "organization" means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for college recognition and/or registration.
  8. The term "shall" is used in the imperative sense.
  9. The term "may" is used in the permissive sense.

Jurisdiction of Central Oregon Community College
The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (the "Code") applies principally to conduct which occurs on College premises or at College-related activities or facilities. Off-campus conduct may also subject a student to disciplinary or other appropriate administrative action where it reasonably is perceived to adversely affect the college community and/or the pursuit of its objectives.


SECTION II: Student Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights

It is recognized that Central Oregon Community College has the right to protect its educational purpose and its students from the irresponsible conduct of others. In order to insure this right, the following areas of responsibility require student compliance for the welfare of the College community.

  1. Instructional
    Academic Dishonesty Disruption Freedom, Academic and Speech

  2. General Campus

    General Provisions
    Attempted Violations
    Public Laws

    Offenses Against Persons
    Abuse of Self or others
    Assault and/or Battery
    Threats Extortion
    Non-Consensual Sexual Act

    Offenses Against Property
    Damage of Property
    Emergency Equipment
    Fire Safety
    Theft and Unauthorized Poss.
    Unauthorized Use of Facilities

    Public Order/College Order Offenses
    Activities on Campus
    Bad Checks Breach of Peace
    Dress Standards
    Falsification of Records
    Distribution of Literature and Goods
    Obeying Orders
    Providing False Information
    Recognition of Student Groups
    Search & Seizure
    Use of Vehicles
    Violation of Probation

    Alcohol & Drug Offenses
    Illegal Drugs
    Controlled Substances

  3. Other College Policies
    Acceptable Computer Usage
    Children on Campus
    Designated Public Forum

Academic Honesty

The faculty has primary responsibility and authority in the classroom. The following steps should be followed for all offenses against the Academic Honesty policy.

  1. When an alleged offense against Academic Honesty occurs, the faculty member will consult with the accused student(s) directly as to the alleged offense.
  2. If the faculty member determines that the student has violated the Academic Honesty policy, the instructor may impose one of the following sanctions:
    • Require the student complete another assignment
    • Assign a grade of F or zero on the assignment
    • Assign a final grade of F for the course

    In the event a case of academic dishonesty is not resolved prior to the deadline for reporting final grades to the registrar, the student shall receive a grade of Incomplete ("I") until the appropriate grade can be determined.
  3. Documentation of the violation and sanction must be reported to the appropriate Academic Dean via the Academic Honesty Code Violation Form. The instructor and student each retain a copy of the form and the original is sent to the student's Academic Dean of record.
  4. If the accused student does not believe that s/he has been justly accused, or believes that the punishment is unreasonable, the student may file a complaint using the Student Concerns Procedure outlined in the COCC General Policy Manual.
  5. In the case of repeated academic honesty offenses (defined as an individual student who has been found to have violated the Academic Honesty policy more than once), the student may be referred to a formal hearing (as defined in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities) which may result in suspension or dismissal from Central Oregon Community College.
  6. The fact that the student has been found guilty of, or admits to, a violation of academic honesty, will be made a part of a permanent record, to be maintained in the Office of the Dean of Instruction. Such information, however, will not be indicated on the student's transcript. Availability of such records will be subject to COCC policies governing access to student records.

The Judicial System & Procedural Rights

Judicial Process

  1. Reporting Violations

    1. Any student, staff, faculty, community member, or Police officer may report any perceived violation of this Code and/or College policies and procedures. The report may be made to the Wickiup Hall Housing Manager, if the perceived violation occurred in the residence halls, or to the Office of Student Life. Perceived criminal activity should be reported immediately to the Office of Campus Services or the Police, which will submit its report of a student violation to the Office of Student Life.
    2. The Office of Student Life or designee may decline to adjudicate a complaint that if proven, would not constitute a violation of the Code. All other complaints will be adjudicated.
    3. When the Office of Student Life or designee decides to adjudicate a complaint, it may do so by a pre- hearing disposition of the charge with the student or by adjudicating the matter through the student judicial process.
    4. The Office of Student Life may elect to wait for any outstanding incident report before adjudicating a complaint. For example, the Office of Student Life may elect to wait for a Police report when it believes that the police report will provide significant relevant information.
  2. Interim Suspension
    Generally, student status is not altered pending hearing and appeal, unless preliminary evidence demonstrates that a student's continued presence on campus would pose a threat to the student's health or safety, or the health, safety, or well-being of other persons within the College community, in which case, the student may be suspended on an interim basis. Except in an emergency situation, the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee will communicate with the student before instituting the suspension. The Vice President of Student Affairs or designee will state, in writing, the terms and conditions of the interim suspension.
  3. Notice
    A student charged with violating a College policy or rule shall be given written notice to meet with the Director of Student Life or designee at a specific time, date and place for a conference regarding a charge of misconduct.
  4. Required Attendance
    Failure on the part of the student to meet as requested for an informal or formal hearing may result in a decision being made in the student's absence. The student shall be notified of this decision by certified return mail. Records, registration and transcript details may be held in abeyance until the student follows up on a Notice to Appear.
  5. Victim Notification
    Upon request of a victim (or victim's next of kin, if the victim is deceased as the result of the offense) of a violent crime or a sex offense, COCC will provide a report on the results of any disciplinary proceedings against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of the offense.
  6. Hearings
    There are two levels of hearings, informal and formal.

    The informal hearing shall be held for all misconduct cases. The results of these hearings will be considered binding when the decision of the hearing officer calls for a disciplinary action that does not include expulsion from the college or eviction from Wickiup Residence Hall. If the student claims responsibility for actions or there is overwhelming evidence of student responsibility during the informal hearing process, the result could include indefinite or long-term suspension.

    Formal hearings are held where alleged misconduct could result in such disciplinary action as final expulsion, indefinite or long-term suspension from the college or eviction from Wickiup Hall.

    1. Informal Hearings
      The Director of Student Life or designee shall conduct an informal hearing with the student at which time the College official shall:
      1. Review the charges with the student.
      2. Review the incident report or other documentation upon which the charges are based.
      3. Review the possible disciplinary action that could be taken if found guilty.
      4. Provide the student an opportunity to respond to the charges.
      5. Discuss the charges and the student's response. The student shall be given an opportunity to plead responsible or not responsible to the charges.
      6. Inform the student of his/her decision with respect to the charges within two business days of the conference via a written decision letter. Possible actions that would result from the informal hearing include but are not limited to:
        • Dismiss the charges.
        • Assign sanctions.
        • Order restitution.
        • Order probation.
        • Order a summary suspension.
        • Order a formal hearing.
      7. The written decision of the conference will notify the student that s/he has a right to appeal that decision to the Vice President of Student Affairs within five (5) business days from the date the hearing decision was received. Please see below for further information on appeals.
    2. Formal Hearings
      Formal hearings are held in cases where alleged misconduct could result in such disciplinary action as final expulsion, indefinite or long-term suspension from the College. The President or designee will appoint the Hearings Officer. The procedural requirements are as follows:

      Notice: The written notice of the formal hearing shall inform the student of:
      • The policy or regulation alleged to have been violated in sufficient detail to allow the student to prepare a defense.
      • The possible disciplinary action to be taken.
      • The right not to be compelled to testify against oneself.
      • The right to a hearing as established under these disciplinary procedures.
      • The right to examine the evidence, hear all testimony and to ask questions of witnesses appearing and testifying against him/her and to offer witnesses and evidence in his/her behalf. Such evidence must be requested 48 hours before the hearing
      • The right of an advisor of his/her choice, at his/her own expense, acting in an advisory capacity only. The name and address of the advisor shall be provided to the office of Student Life no later than 24 hours prior to a hearing. The advisor is not permitted to speak at the College hearing.
      • The right to enter a plea of responsible or not responsible within three school days after the charge. If the student fails to enter a plea within three school days, a plea of not responsible is entered and a hearing date being set by the Hearings Officer.
      • The right to bring witnesses to the hearing. A witness is a person who has personal knowledge of the incident at issue. Character witnesses are considered irrelevant and will not be permitted to testify. A person who serves as a witness may not serve in any other capacity during the hearing. The student must submit a list of witnesses to the hearing officer 24 hours in advance of the hearing. The list should include each witness' name and a summary of the witness' expected testimony. It is the student's responsibility to bring his/her witnesses to the hearing at the scheduled date and time.

    3. Hearing Procedures

      The purpose of a hearing is to review all the facts and to consider testimony, both written and oral, in an effort towards determining whether or not College policy has been violated and whether or not the student should be disciplined, and if so, what disciplinary action should be taken.
      1. Closed Hearing. All proceedings are closed, except that an alleged victim(s) may be given permission by a hearing officer to attend. Those present in the hearing room will be the Hearing Officer, college staff recorder, the student's advisor, and the student involved in the action. In addition, witnesses will be interviewed individually.
      2. Unbiased Adjudicator. Hearing Officers must remove themselves from hearing a case if they believe that they cannot be unbiased. Respondent will be notified of the hearing officer(s) who will consider the Charge at least three business days before the hearing. If respondent or other interested party believes the hearing officer cannot be unbiased, s/he must write to the Vice President of Student Affairs in the Office of Student Life to request a replacement, stating the specific reasons s/he believes the hearing officer would be biased. The written request must be made a minimum of two business days before the hearing is scheduled to be held. If the Vice President of Student Affairs agrees, s/he will reassign the Charge to a different Hearing Officer, but the hearing date will remain unchanged if possible.
      3. Hearing Record. The hearing officer will make a record of the hearing. If the College deems it appropriate, the hearing will be audio tape-recorded. The recording will remain on file in the Office of Student Life.
      4. Maintaining Order. The hearing officer is responsible for maintaining order during the hearing. The hearing officer may take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure an orderly hearing.
      5. Presenting Evidence/Questioning Witnesses. The student will have an opportunity to present relevant information and witnesses in response to the Charge. The student will have the opportunity to examine all information leading to the charge(s) and to respond to all witness testimony. The hearing officer will question witnesses. The student may not question witnesses directly, but may submit questions to the hearing officer, who will decide which, if any, of the questions to ask witnesses. Witnesses who have already testified may not talk with witnesses who have not yet testified.
      6. Requesting Evidence. The student or the hearing officer may request the presence of relevant witnesses. If an alleged victim or a witness is not present at the hearing, his/her presence can be requested.
      7. Sexual Offenses. A victim of an alleged sexual offense or assault may testify via an intercom or other remote audio or video device, so that s/he may testify without face-to-face contact with the accused student. The identity of all witnesses who testify must be known to the accused student. In no event may testimony via intercom or other remote device be used to keep the alleged victim's identity from the accused student.
      8. Anonymous Evidence/Evidence Received Outside the Hearing. The hearing officer will refuse to accept or hear any evidence coming from an anonymous source or evidence which is presented outside of the hearing.
      9. Relevant Evidence. The hearing officer will decide whether to admit evidence. Rules of evidence used in courts of law are not used in this judicial process. Generally, a hearing officer will agree to hear evidence which is relevant to the subject matter of the hearing and is fair and reliable under the circumstances of the case. Character witnesses generally are not considered relevant.
      10. Adjudicatory Standard. The hearing officer/judicial council will determine whether the Respondent is "responsible" or "not responsible" for the alleged violation. The Respondent will be presumed "not responsible" until proven otherwise by a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence is reached when the hearing officer/Judicial Council concludes that it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Code as alleged in the Charge.
      11. After reviewing available information on the case, the Hearings Officer will afford the student an opportunity to make his/her final comments before a decision is made.
      12. Written Hearing Decision. The hearing officer will provide a written decision to the student within two business days following the hearing. The hearing decision will state what evidence the hearing officer/judicial council considered and how it reached its decision based upon that evidence. If the Respondent is found responsible, the hearing decision will state what sanctions will be imposed.
      13. Notice of Appeal. The Respondent will be notified upon receiving the hearing decision that s/he has a right to appeal that decision, as described below, to the Judicial Affairs Officer or designee within five (5) business days from the date the hearing decision was sent.
    4. Appeals Procedure
      1. Individuals wishing to appeal disciplinary decisions made through the informal or formal hearing process may do so to the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee within five (5) business days from the date the hearing decision was received.
      2. Appeals Procedure
        1. Bases for Appeal. The hearing decision may be appealed for the following bases only: (1) a procedural error unfairly and materially affected the outcome of the case, (2) evidence has been discovered which was not reasonably available at the time of the hearing, and/or (3) a clear abuse of discretion on the part of the hearing officer.
        2. Submitting an Appeal. To appeal, the Respondent must submit a written statement to the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee stating, as precisely as possible, the basis for the appeal and the evidence to support the appeal
        3. Consideration of Appeal. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee may elect to meet with the Respondent to discuss the appeal and, if necessary, hear the new evidence. The alleged victim may be given an opportunity to respond to the appeal
        4. Written Appeal Decision. The Vice President of Student Afffairs or designee will render a written decision regarding the appeal. If the appeal is granted, the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee will state on what basis the appeal was granted and describe any new evidence that was received and considered in rendering an appeal decision. The appeal may modify the hearing decision, including sanctions, as warranted. The appeal decision is final
    5. Post-Hearing Procedure
      If the student fails to comply with the sanctions imposed upon him/her, as may have been modified by appeal, the hearing officer retains the power to impose additional sanctions on the student, up to and including dismissal from the College. In addition to the sanctions listed in the next section, the hearing officer may place a hold on the student's future registration privileges with the College. Such a hold results in a cancellation of all pre-registered courses. The hold remains in effect until the outstanding judicial matter and/or sanctions have been resolved and the initiating party authorizes its release. This action is not subject to appeal unless the sanction involves suspension from the residence halls or suspension/dismissal from the College. In these instances, an appeal may be filed using the procedure set forth above
  7. Sanctions
    The following forms of discipline may be imposed on a student who is guilty of misconduct:
    1. Warning
      Notice that a student's conduct in a specific instance does not meet College standards and that continued misconduct may result in a more serious disciplinary action.
    2. Disciplinary Probation
      Notice that the student found in violation of the College standards may continue to be enrolled under stated conditions, violations of which may be cause for more serious disciplinary action
    3. Restitution
      Compensation for loss, damage to or misappropriation of property or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service to repair or otherwise compensate for damages. Restitution may be imposed in combination with any other penalty.
    4. Educational Sanction
      These may include, but are not limited to:
      • a formal apology, in writing and/or in person
      • a public presentation
      • reading books
      • watching videos
      • a reflective essay or a research paper on a designated topic
      • alcohol and other drug education, which may require the completion of:
        • Alcohol and Other Drug Education
        • Consultation with a Counselor and completion of any/all referrals made as a result of the consultation
        • Specified number of sessions with a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CDAC)
        All alcohol and other drug education classes, as well as sessions with a CDAC, may have fines or fees associated with them, which must be paid for by the student.
    5. Community Restitution
      Performance of a specified number of community restitution hours. This sanction will be fulfilled either on or off campus, as specified. On campus service will be in a specified department.
    6. Fines
      When appropriate, fines payable to the college may be levied for selected policy violations.
    7. Suspension From Residence Halls
      Prohibits the student from residing in any College-operated residence hall on either a temporary or a permanent basis. Student may reapply for housing after stated period of suspension. Specific restrictions on access to residence halls during the period of suspension may also be invoked. Suspension usually includes forfeiture of any fee rebate for the remainder of the housing contract.
    8. Suspension by an Instructor
      An instructor has the authority to immediately remove a student, who in the judgment of the instructor, is violating the College disruption policy or whose behavior jeopardizes the safety or wellbeing of the class.
    9. Summary Suspension from College
      A student may be suspended from presence on COCC's campuses and participation in any or all programs (including academic programs) and any and all activities sponsored by the College, by the College President or designee, when the alleged acts are so serious that the continued presence of the student in the College community represents a potential danger to the health, welfare, and safety of the College or community or which places the educational mission of the college at risk. The determination of the seriousness of the alleged act shall be in the sole discretion of the College President or designee. Such suspension shall be in effect until a formal disciplinary hearing with the College President or designee has taken place. Determination of continued suspension or expulsion will be made through the formal hearing process.
    10. Deferred Suspension
      Placement on deferred suspension status during which there is observation and review of behavior. If the student is found to further violate college regulations during this period then the student is suspended without further hearings. Deferred suspension may be for a period of one term up to and including the remainder of a student's enrollment at the college.
    11. Suspension from College
      Separation of the student from the college for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Such separation prohibits attendance at any classes and participation in any College programs during the suspension period. The terms of the suspension may restrict access to College grounds or buildings, as well as attendance at College-sponsored social events, or other functions, as deemed appropriate by the College President or designee. The student may not register and/or enroll until the stated period of suspension is completed, and any requirements for the period of suspension are met.
    12. Expulsion
      Expulsion for an indefinite period of time includes loss of all College privileges including college employment and the privilege of entering any portion of the College's campuses, participation in any College programs or any activities sponsored by the College, except by written authorization from the Office of the College President or their designee.