Student Code of Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities
This section covers student conduct, rights, and responsibilities while pursuing an education at Wake Technical Community College. Wake Tech is a learning community with specific expectations regarding student conduct. The college seeks to provide a safe and healthy environment that facilitates teaching, learning, and student success by adhering to the college’s core values of respect, responsibility, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and accountability. When a student's conduct adversely affects the college community or the pursuit of Wake Tech's educational objectives, disciplinary action will be taken – first, to resolve the problem, and then to help students learn from mistakes. Discipline issues will be resolved informally whenever possible.
II. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The submission of an application for admission to Wake Technical Community College represents a voluntary decision on a prospective student's part to participate in the programs offered by the college pursuant to its policies, rules, and regulations. College acceptance of the application represents the extending of the privilege of joining the college community, and of remaining a part of it as long as established standards for academics and conduct are met.
Students who enroll accept college policies and procedures and acknowledge the right of Wake Technical Community College to take action, up to and including suspension or expulsion, when a student is found responsible for misconduct. Students are responsible for becoming familiar with Wake Tech policies and procedures.
Students have the following rights, and the privilege of exercising those rights without fear or prejudice, as long as they respect state and federal laws, college policies, and the rights of others on campus. Wake Technical Community College strives to create an atmosphere where students have the following rights:
- Students are free to pursue educational goals through appropriate opportunities for learning in the classroom and on the campus. Student performance will be evaluated on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct matters unrelated to academic standards.
Freedom of Expression
- Students can freely study and discuss various ideas in a courteous manner in and outside of the classroom.
- Students have the right to inquire about and to propose improvements to policies, regulations, and procedures affecting their welfare through established student government procedures, campus committees, and college offices.
- Students have the right to expect a safe environment that ensures the continuity of the educational process.
- Students have the right to expect that their official college records will be safeguarded. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (as amended) provides safeguards regarding confidentiality of and access to student records. Other than directory information, no records shall be made available to unauthorized personnel or groups inside or outside the college without the written consent of the student involved, except under legal obligation.
- Students and former students have the right to review their official records and to request a hearing if they wish to challenge the contents of those records.
Academic Integrity Appeal
- Students have the right to appeal academic integrity policy penalties. See Section III. D.
- Students have the right to appeal course grades. See Section III. E.
- Students have the right to grieve student code of conduct sanctions. See Section IV.E
- Students have the right to receive reasonable notice to be heard, prior to conduct sanctions being given, and the opportunity to grieve sanctions. See Sections III. D. & VI. E.
Freedom from Discrimination
- Students can expect to engage in the college community without discrimination as defined by federal and state laws and college regulations.
Students also have responsibilities, as part of the college community, including but not limited to:
- Respecting the rights of others and exercising courtesy and politeness in all situations.
- Respecting the highest standards of academic integrity and reporting any violations of those standards to the Student Conduct Officer or any other college official for appropriate investigation and disposition.
- Refraining from actions that endanger the health, safety, or welfare of any member of the college community or college visitors.
- Adhering to the normal standards, rules, and regulations of the college as well as with federal, state, and local laws.
ARTICLE A: DEFINITIONS (As applicable to Student Code of Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities)
|Academic Integrity||All academic assignments turned in shall be one’s own work unless otherwise stated by the instructor.|
|Appeal||An official request that a currently-enrolled student would make to a faculty member regarding a final course grade or academic integrity penalty given by that faculty member; or a decision made by the DRGC.|
|Board of Trustees||The group of appointed officials charged with oversight of the college.|
|Business Days||All days except Saturday, Sunday and college holidays.|
|College||Refers to Wake Technical Community College.|
|College Official||Any person employed by the college performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.|
|College Premises||All land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of and controlled by the college, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.|
|Complaint||An expression of dissatisfaction from a currently-enrolled student about an issue related to the college and its mission, for which there is no formal or established grievance or appeals process; including but not limited to curriculum, class scheduling, registration, financial aid, facilities, or any college official.|
|Complainant||Any person who submits a charge alleging that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct.|
|Disciplinary Review Grievance Committee (DRGC)||A judicial body designed to provide due process and participatory justice to students for college incidents, which resulted in sanctions or penalties.|
|Disciplinary Review Grievance Committee Chairperson||An individual selected by the Student Conduct Officer to facilitate a Disciplinary Review Grievance Committee proceeding.|
|Discrimination||Discrimination is the unlawful and intentional act of unfair treatment of a person based on race, ethnicity, sex (gender), sexual orientation, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or age.|
|Due Process||A reasonable notice to be heard prior to conduct sanctions being given and the opportunity to grieve sanctions received.|
|Educational Assignment||A sanction designed to promote self-awareness of the appropriate/inappropriate behavior and awareness of institutional expectations, and to educate the student in the specific area of his or her violation.|
|Faculty Member||Any person hired by the college to conduct classroom or teaching activities.|
|Grievance||A formal objection that a currently-enrolled student may wish to have addressed, regarding a disciplinary action placed upon the student by a college official or DRGC.|
|May||Term used to indicate permission.|
|Member of College Community||Any person who is a student, faculty member, college official, or any other person employed by the college.|
|Organization||Any group who has complied with the formal requirements for college recognition of sanctions.|
|Policies||The written regulations of the college as found in but not limited to the college catalog, the college website and web pages, and the computer use guidelines.|
|Preponderance of Evidence||A standard of proof in which the evidence strongly suggests the student code has been violated.|
|Respondent||Any student alleged to have violated the Wake Tech Student Code of Conduct.|
|Shall||Term used to indicate an imperative (mandatory).|
|Student||Any person taking courses at the college, full-time or part-time, seated or online.|
|Student Conduct Officer||The college official charged with the responsibility of administering the college’s Student Code of Conduct.|
|Victim||Any person who is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent.|
|Witness||One who gives evidence; a person who is present at an event and can speak to what happened.|
When college officials award course credits, degrees, diplomas, and certificates, they assume integrity on the part of the student who has completed the work. Wake Technical Community College expects students to demonstrate the highest personal integrity in all academic work and behavior. Effective education depends on an atmosphere that is conducive to learning, based on a commitment to honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and individual responsibility. Creating such an atmosphere is the responsibility of students and instructors and requires integrity on the part of both. Students may be asked to sign a statement of academic integrity upon entering Wake Tech classes.
Faculty are responsible for the assignment of student grades according to methods that are professional acceptable, communicated to everyone in the class, and applied to all students equitably.
A student who has a disagreement with an instructor's professional judgment in grading should attempt to resolve the matter through dialogue with the instructor who issued the grade. Wake Tech's Academic Integrity Policy requires that the college ordinarily refrain from review of or participating in an instructor's evaluation of student performance in cases where the instructor is merely using his or her professional judgment.
However, the college acknowledges that, on occasion, exceptional circumstances may arise in which a student should have the opportunity to appeal the grade for a course. When circumstances warrant, a student may make use of the following appeals process listed in Section E. Final Course Grade Appeal Procedure. In the event the student is contending that the disputed grade was rendered on account of or was influenced by the student's age, race, sex, national origin, religion, veteran status, or disability, the student must use the complaint Form in lieu of the procedure described in Section E. Final Course Grade Appeal Procedure below.
- Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy
Cheating and plagiarism, as described below, are forms of academic dishonesty that violate the Academic Integrity Policy. Students found responsible for violating academic integrity policies are subject to penalties from Instructors and sanctions from Student Conduct Officers.
Academic Violations Definitions Cheating Receiving or giving another student any unauthorized information or material during or after a quiz, test, exam, or assignment; working with others, either virtually or in person, to complete a quiz, test, exam, project, or assignment without prior approval from the instructor or the use of unauthorized resources. Plagiarism Taking or passing off as one’s owns the ideas, words, or work of another person. When students present others’ ideas, words, or work in a written or oral assignment, they must document the source(s) as directed by the instructor of the course. Plagiarism also includes buying or selling work to others, as well as providing false information about submitted work.
C. Academic Integrity Violation Penalties
The following academic penalties may be imposed by an instructor, a department head, or a division dean for violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.
|Academic Penalties||Possible Sanction Imposed|
|Loss of Grade||A "0" for an assignment, quiz or test.|
|Loss of Credit||An "F" for the course and loss of the right to attend remaining class sessions if the student appeals and the instructor's decision is upheld.|
D. Academic Penalty Appeal Procedures (Loss of Grade)
A student who wishes to appeal an Academic Integrity Violation Penalty resulting in the loss of grade points on an assignment, quiz or test should communicate with the instructor immediately to discuss the matter. The instructor's decision is final.
E. Final Course Grade Appeal Procedures (Loss of Credit)
The following procedure must be followed to contest a final grade:
- The student is responsible for contacting the instructor within two (2) business days of the student's grade being posted to seek a resolution. The instructor will notify the student within three (3) business days of contact made by the student. If not satisfied with the instructor's decision, the student must initiate the Final Course Grade Appeal Procedure within ten (10) business days following the posting of final grades. Click here for the Final Grade Appeal Form.
- The student instructor's supervisor, typically a "department head" will review the appeal and communicate the decision to the student through Wake Tech email within three (3) business days. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the instructor's supervisor, an appeal to the academic dean of the division must be made within five (5) business days.
- The academic dean will investigate and return a decision to the student through Wake Tech email within five (5) business days. The academic dean's decision is final.
The college recognizes that under certain circumstances, students may be justified in initiating their appeal at the department head level. Students who choose to communicate their appeal to the department head first, instead of to the instructor, must include their justification for doing so.
Documentation of all Academic Integrity Violations resulting in the Loss of Credit will be retained by a Student Conduct Officer. Multiple violations of the Academic Integrity Policy may result in additional student conduct sanctions.
IV. STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT
The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct (Student Code) is not to restrict freedom, but to protect the rights of all students in their academic pursuits.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with generally-accepted standards, while appropriately incorporating the College's Core Values of: Accountability, Respect, Responsibility, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration.
- Prohibited Conduct
Students are prohibited from engaging in any conduct which materially and adversely affects the educational process, including the following:
Code Number Student Code Violation 1. Violation of Academic Integrity Policy 2.
Disruptive, disrespectful behavior in any form of conduct by an individual or group of individuals that interferes with the educational opportunities of another student on college premises or at college- sponsored events.
Disruption or obstruction of learning environment administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other college-authorized activity and events.
Attempted or actual theft of, misuse of, or damage to college property; or theft of or damage to property of a member of the college community or campus visitor, on college premises or at college sponsored activities and events.
4. Trespassing, including unauthorized entry or presence on the property of the College or in a college facility or any portion thereof to which entry or presence has been restricted. 5. Violation of the Drug and Alcohol Policy. 6.
The use of profane, lewd, or obscene speech or like expressive behavior (including the wearing of clothing displaying such language, pictures, or symbols); the use of defamatory or racist speech or like expressive behavior; or the use of any speech or behavior implying a physical threat or likely to provoke violence or retaliation in person or via electronic means, including but not limited to blogs, texts, emails, and all social media platforms.
Lewd or indecent conduct online, on college premises, or at college-sponsored activities and events.
7. Verbal, mental or physical abuse of any kind, of any person on college premises, online, or at college-sponsored or supervised events, including but not limited to coercion, bullying, hazing, stalking, intimidation, or conduct that threaten or endanger an individual's health or safety. 8. Violation of the Sexual Harassment Policy. 9. Occupation of, refusal to depart from, or seizure of college property or any portion thereof (or threatening such in any manner) for a use which is inconsistent with prescribed, customary, or authorized use. 10. Participating in or conducting an assembly or demonstration, in a manner which threatens or causes injury to persons or property; which interferes with free access to entrances or exits of college facilities; or which is harmful, obstructive, or disruptive to the functions of the College. 11. Possession, storage, use of or manufacture of firearms, fireworks, explosives, knives of any kind, and other destructive devices on college property, or at college-sponsored activities and events (except by persons specifically authorized by the college and in accordance with G.S. 14-269.2) in connection with a college-approved activity. 12. Tampering with fire safety equipment or setting off a fire alarm on college premises or at college-sponsored activities or events, except with reasonable belief for the need of such equipment or alarm. 13. Gambling, including unlawful games of chance for money or anything of value, and the sale, barter, or other disposition of a ticket, order, or any interest in a scheme of chance by any name, on college premises or at college-sponsored activities or events. 14. Smoking, and/or use of any products, including tobacco but not limited to, cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vaporizers, on all properties owned or rented by the college, except in college-approved designated smoking areas. 15. Violation of state or college regulations regarding the operation and parking of motor vehicles. 16. Tampering with the election of any college-recognized student organization, forgery, alteration, or misuse of college documents, records, or instruments of identification with intent to deceive. 17. Failure to comply with instructions of college officials acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to those persons when requested to do so. 18. Fiscal irresponsibility, such as, failure to pay college-levied fines, failure to repay college-funded loans, or the passing of worthless checks to college officials. 19. Violation of any college policy or local, state, or federal criminal law on college premises adversely affecting the college community's pursuit of its educational purposes, including but not limited to, falsification of documents, impersonation of another individual, or willfully encouraging others to commit acts that are prohibited. 20. The unauthorized access or attempt to access, manipulate, or retrieve files, programs, or data from any college computer system. Permitting another to use a college ID that does not belong to them, impersonating and/or misrepresenting authorization of another. Use of computing facilities to send or view obscene or threatening messages.
- Disciplinary Penalties for Violations of the Student Code
The following disciplinary actions may be imposed by a college official for violation of the Student Code. A copy of any written warnings or reprimands must be forwarded to a student conduct officer for appropriate recordkeeping. Please note that all sanctions given do not necessarily follow the order below.
1. Educational Conversation: An educational conversation may take place between the student and the Student Conduct Officer. No determination will be made regarding if the student is responsible for violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The student will not be given a sanction. The purpose of this action will be to give the student an opportunity to learn about College policies and expectations to stop any behavior that may violate the Student Code of Conduct in the future. A record of the educational conversation will be kept with the Student Conduct Officer using the conduct management system.
2. Written Warning: A written communication giving official notice to the student that a violation of the Student Code has occurred and that any subsequent violation of the Student Code may carry heavier penalties because of this infraction.
3. Emergency (Interim) Suspension: Instructors or college officials may impose an interim suspension for conduct that poses a threat to the health or well-being of any member of the academic community or the activities of the College.
- Interim suspension will not exceed more than two class periods. Instructors must notify their department head or next ranking available supervisor immediately upon suspension of a student.
- A completed Student Code Violation form must be submitted electronically to the appropriate Student Conduct Officer within 24 hours of the suspension. The form is available online at go.waketech.edu, under the Links heading, listed under the Maxient conduct Reporting Forms tab.
- Any student who receives an interim suspension must meet with a Student Conduct Officer or designee prior to returning to class.
- If class readmission is approved, the Student Conduct Officer will give the student a class readmission notice. Instructors who have not received notification of a suspended student's return to class may deny entry until such notification is received.
Disciplinary sanctions may be modified only by the Disciplinary Review and Grievance Committee (DRGC). The AVP of Student Services, Sr. Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services, Student Conduct Officer, or Registrar may impose and modify disciplinary sanctions. See the chart and sanctions below:
|Level of Violation||Minimum Sanction||Maximum Sanction|
Educational ConversationEducational Sanction
Behavior ContractWritten Warning
- Educational Sanctions: Educational sanctions may include work assignments, essays, community service, participation in college-sponsored programs or activities, behavioral contract, alcohol and/or drug education and counseling, with a certified counselor, and other related educational assignments.
- General Probation: An individual may be placed on general probation when involved in a substantive disciplinary offense. General probation has two (2) important implications: 1) the individual is given a chance to show capability and willingness to observe the Student Code without further penalty; and 2) if the student errs again, additional sanctions will be imposed for this violation. This probation will be in effect for no more than two (2) terms.
- Restrictive Probation: Restrictive probation results in loss of good standing, and notation of such is made in the student’s conduct record. Restrictive conditions may limit activity in the college community and/or access to specified college facilities. The student will not be eligible for initiation into any local or national organization, and may not receive any college award or other honorary recognition. The student may not occupy a position of leadership or responsibility with any college or student organization, publication, or activity. This probation will be in effect for not less than two (2) terms. Any violation of restrictive probation may result in immediate suspension.
- Restitution: Paying for damaging, misusing, destroying, or losing property belonging to the college, college personnel, students and visitors.
- Delayed Registration: A student may be required to meet with a Student Conduct Officer before registering for classes if the student has not complied with a sanction or contacted the Student Conduct Officer as required.
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree: Admission to or a degree awarded from the college may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of college standards in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violation committed by a student prior to graduation.
- Agreed-Upon Behavior Contract: In situations where a student and the Student Conduct Officer can agree on the consequences that should result from the student’s Code of Conduct violation, the agreed-upon consequences can be set out in a document titled “Behavior Contract.”
- Withholding: Transcript, diploma, or right to register will be withheld (denied) when financial obligations are not met.
- Emergency (Interim) Suspension: Instructors or college officials may impose an interim suspension for conduct that poses a threat to the health or well-being of any member of the academic community or the activities of the College.
- Suspension: Exclusion from a class, program of the college, or all college activities for a specified period of time. This sanction is reserved for those offenses warranting discipline more severe than probation, or for repeated misconduct. Students who receive this sanction must get specific written permission from a Student Conduct Officer before returning.
- Expulsion: Dismissing a student from campus for an indefinite period. The student loses his/her student status.
- Group Probation: This is given to a college club or other organized group for a specified period of time. If group violations are repeated during the probationary period, the group's charter may be revoked or activities restricted.
- Group Restriction: Removing college recognition during the term or semester in which the offense occurred or for a longer period (usually not more than one additional term). While under restriction the group may not seek or add members, hold or sponsor events in the college community, or engage in other activities as specified.
- Group Charter Revocation: Removal of college recognition from a group, club, society, or other organization for a minimum of two years. Re-charter after that time must be approved by the Vice President of Student Services.
- No Contact: There is to be no communication with the party or parties by any means, including but not limited to electronic or digital, in person, or through a third party (other than an attorney).
Other than college probation, suspension, expulsion, or the revoking or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of the student's permanent academic record but will become part of the student's conduct record maintained by the Student Conduct Officer.
Release of Student Conduct Records
As directed by the requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) the Office of Student Conduct does not issue student conduct information about current or former students without receiving a completed Release of Student Conduct Information Form. Unless required by law, Student Conduct records will not be released without the expressed permission from the student. Requests for student conduct information may include but is not limited to transfer requests to other colleges, licensing agencies, and security clearances for employment.
Please note that we do not provide character references as a part of a conduct record. If the college/agency inquires if a student is in good standing academically those requests will be forwarded to the office of Registration and Records for completion. If the college/agency provides their own form(s) they should be left with the student’s request for completion in the appropriate areas by our office.
If the student is unsure of their prior conduct history, please submit a Release of Student Conduct Information Form. Once submitted, allow (3) to (5) business days for completion of the request during the college’s normal operating hours. Ensure that the information requested on the Release of Student Conduct Reporting Form is accurate and completed in its entirety. Failure to do so may result in the request not being completed.
Student Conduct Records Retention
Student conduct records will include copies of all cases in which a student is found responsible for violating at least one Student Conduct Policy, as well as copies of correspondence and documentation related to the case. The Office of Student Conduct may redact information pertaining to other individuals listed in a case.
The policies regarding retention of Student Conduct records are as follows:
- The College will maintain Student Conduct files for a period of no less than (7) years following the most recent finding of violation, as determined by the rules governing reporting under the Clery Act.
- The College will maintain Student Conduct files of students who have been dismissed from the college indefinitely.
- The College will retain, as required, statistical information connected to Student Conduct Policy violations in order to comply with mandated reporting requirements.
C. The Conduct Process
The Student Conduct Officer will request an initial meeting with the student in order to determine whether disciplinary sanctions should be initiated. During the meeting, the Student Conduct Officer will advise the student of the allegation(s), explain the student conduct process, and clarify the student’s rights and responsibilities. Every effort will be made to resolve the matter by mutual agreement. Following the preliminary meeting the Student Conduct Officer will take one of the following actions:
- If the student fails to appear, the Student Conduct Officer may find the student responsible and impose sanctions. If the student does not accept responsibility, the Student Conduct Officer will initiate formal disciplinary charges. The student will be notified of the sanction via their official Wake Tech email address or US postal service. The student will be granted (15) business days to grieve the sanction.
- If there is no basis for the allegation or if it does not warrant disciplinary action, the Student Conduct Officer will dismiss the allegation.
D. Disciplinary Procedures for Violations of Student Code
Instructor or College Official
The instructor will issue a report to the Student Conduct Officer for the first time a student violates the Academic Integrity violation in their class. The Student Conduct Officer will file the first report received as a For Information Only (FIO) report. Please note that there will only be (1) FIO report filed, even if it is a first offense in multiple classes. The instructor may issue a penalty for any academic integrity violation and should notify the student of the penalty and any report sent to the Student Conduct Officer. Any subsequent reports filed will be addressed by the Student Conduct Officer and sanctions may be given if the student is found responsible.
When a student is alleged to have violated any portion of the Student Code of Conduct, the instructor or college official reporting the incident must follow these steps:
- Have an educational conversation with the student or issue a verbal warning in person, via e-mail or by telephone.
- Refer the student to a Student Conduct Officer using the steps outlined below.
- Prior to reporting, follow the steps below:
Validation Validating the Suspected Conduct (review the Student Code of Conduct Violations) Notification Notify the Student in person, by e-mail or telephone within five (5) business days Submission
Submit the appropriate violation form, i.e., Academic Integrity, Student Code of Conduct within five (5) business days to the Conduct Officer
- Failure to notify the student may result in no further action being taken regarding the alleged violation. Forms are available at go.waketech.edu under the Links heading, listed under the Maxient Conduct Reporting Forms tab.
- If an instructor or college official who is considering reporting a student violation believes that the student poses an immediate harm to self or others, that instructor or college official should contact Campus Police. Other behaviors that are not considered a Wellness report, should be reported on the Behavior of Concern Threat reporting form for review by the Behavioral Assessment Team.
E. Student Code of Conduct Sanction Grievance Procedures
A student who wishes to grieve a Student Code of Conduct Sanction issued by a Student Conduct Officer or an Interim Suspension issued by an instructor may request a hearing with the Disciplinary Review and Grievance Committee (DRGC) within fifteen (15) business days after the sanction is issued. Whenever possible, a Student Conduct Officer will attempt to resolve such incidents informally. Request for a hearing must be made using a Student Conduct Grievance Request Form. The student will need to inform the Student Conduct Officer at this time if reasonable accommodations are needed.
If the student cannot attend the scheduled hearing because of an emergency, they must contact the Student Conduct Officer who issued the sanction as soon as possible or up to (1) hour prior to the hearing. The student will have only one opportunity to reschedule a cancelled hearing due to an emergency. Hearings that have been rescheduled due to the absence of the student will assemble, and the committee will make a decision on the case based on evidence provided by the Student Conduct Officer.
Note: If the Student Conduct Officer determines that the complainant or witnesses may be harmed emotionally by testifying in the presence of the respondent at the hearing, other arrangements will be made to allow participation without depriving the respondent of access to the testimony, evidence, or information. The College will provide support to students in cases of sexual or physical assault, as appropriate and upon request.
The Student Conduct Grievance process and the Final Grade Appeal process are two (2) separate processes. If the DRGC overturns a Student Conduct Officer’s sanction, it does not negate the penalty given by the academic instructor or designee.
Composition of the DRGC: The committee is composed of three members, – a student in good standing academically and otherwise, a staff member, and a faculty member – plus a presiding Chairperson, who may serve a three-year term.
1. Powers and functions of the DRGC: the committee may confirm, or modify, the sanction. The committee will use the preponderance of the evidence standard when determining the outcome of a case. The AVP of Student Services reserves the right to review the decision of the DRGC and make modifications. In cases where there is alleged discrimination or denial of due process, the AVP of Student Services will review and made a determination. The decision of the AVP of Student Services is final.
F. The DRGC Hearing Process
The hearings are closed to the public and the media. Hearings are primarily scheduled on Thursday afternoons, or as announced. The Student Conduct Officer’s role is to provide information when needed and to answer any questions.
- At the hearing the DRGC chairperson will initiate introductions of all present for the record. The chairperson will read the charges and ask the student to respond to the charges. If the student acknowledges responsibility, they will be given an opportunity to provide any justifying information. If the student denies the charges, the hearing will continue.
- Complainant and eyewitnesses will be allowed to give testimony on what they saw as related to the incident in question. Witness statements will be permitted based on the incident in question. The respondent will be given an opportunity to ask questions of the complainant and eyewitnesses when present.
- Committee members will be able to ask questions of all involved in the incident in question.
- The burden of proof rests with the complainant. The DRGC will make a decision based on the preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
- The chairperson will record the hearing except during deliberations. The recordings will be kept in the office of Student Conduct.
- The DRGC will deliberate in private and provide the chairperson with their decision. The chairperson is not a voting member. Their role is to maintain order, and to advise on points of order and procedure.
- The chairperson will give the decision of the DRGC to the AVP of Student Services within two (2) business days.
- The decision of the DRGC can be modified by the AVP of Student Services when warranted. The only allowable basis for appeal is consideration of:
(a) alleged violation of college procedures in the conduct of the hearing or investigation, discrimination or lack of due process.
- Grievances may not be heard by the president or the board of trustees if related to individual grades or the result of reported disciplinary action.
- The AVP of Student Services will send students official notification through their Wake Tech e-mail address or through the U.S. postal service within three (3) business days after receiving the recommendation from the DRGC committee.
G. The DRGC Hearing Guidelines
- Students will be sent via their official Wake Tech e-mail, notice of the DRGC hearing at least five (5) business days before the hearing date. All persons involved in the hearing, with the exception of the witnesses will be sent incident documents. All persons will be given the location, time and place of the hearing. When Wake Tech e-mail is not available, students will be contacted in person, by phone or by certified mail via U.S. postal service.
- Confidentiality will be maintained with information discussed in the hearings except as permitted or required by law. All decisions of the hearing will be given to the complainant and respondent, and to other College officials on a need-to-know basis.
- Any information and or eyewitnesses related to the incident in question, including names, and contact information and importance of the eyewitnesses must be submitted to the Student Conduct Officer in writing, at least three (3) business days before the scheduled hearing.
The following rights are available to the complainant and respondent:
- The right to know the identity of the person bringing charges against them.
- To provide an explanation of their part with the incident that led to the charges. Students will be able to provide this information in writing at least three (3) business days prior to the hearing. This information will be reviewed and considered in the examination of the case, whether the student is present for the hearing or not.
- To present information, witnesses and proof on their behalf. All information must relate directly to the incident in question.
- To question any witnesses or deny any proof on their behalf.
- To have an advisor at the hearing.
a. A student who intends to have an advisor present at the hearing must notify the Student Conduct Officer in writing at least three (3) business days before the hearing, and include the name of the advisor, contact information and relationship to the student.
b. The role of the advisor is not to represent the complainant or respondent. The advisor cannot ask questions of anyone participating in the hearing.
c. Before the advisor can be given permission to attend the hearing, a confidentiality agreement must be signed. The Student Conduct Officer will provide the agreement document. Failure to sign this agreement will result in the advisor being denied entry to the hearing.
V. Concerns involving harassment or discrimination by a college faculty member or staff member on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status should be directed to the college's affirmative action officer and or Title IX officer.
Currently enrolled students may wish to complain about an issue related to the mission of the college for which there is no formal or established grievance or appeals process, including but not limited to curriculum, class scheduling, registration, financial aid, facilities, or faculty. In accordance with federal consumer information and accreditation requirements, all units that receive and resolve such complaints will maintain a log of the complaints and their resolution. In such cases, the student should follow the procedures below:
- The student should submit a Student Complaint Form.
- The complaint form will be routed to the Sr. Dean/Student Conduct Officer and assigned to the appropriate administrator, based on the nature of the complaint.
- The assigned administrator will follow up with resolution to the complaint within five (5) business days.
VI. FINAL STUDENT CONDUCT APPEALS PROCESS
A student who is not in agreement with the decision of the Disciplinary Review and Grievance Committee may appeal in writing to the Associate Vice President for Student Services within five (5) business days of official notification of the decision. The only allowable basis for appeal to the AVP for Student Services is consideration of alleged violation of college procedures in the conduct of the hearing or investigation. It is the student’s responsibility to clearly define and substantiate their grounds for appeal in the letter sent via e-mail to the AVP for Student Services requesting an appeal.
The AVP for Student Services will:
Review the findings and proceedings of the DRGC
At their discretion, hear from the student, the members of the DRGC, or any other employee or witness who may provide information on the facts, before ruling on an appeal.
Uphold, modify, or overturn the decision of the DRGC
Inform the student, DRGC chair, and Student Conduct Officer of the final decision within ten (10) days of the receipt of the appeal.
The decision of the Associate Vice President is final.
- Student Initiation
A student may engage legal counsel, for advising only, at any point in his or her disciplinary, academic appeal, or grievance proceeding. The student must give advance notice of three (3) business days of their decision to engage counsel.
- College Initiation
The DRGC or a college official may elect to be advised by legal counsel at any time in any disciplinary, academic appeal, or grievance proceeding.
- Staff/Faculty Initiation
Any staff or faculty member involved in any disciplinary, academic appeal, or grievance proceeding may avail themselves of legal counsel, at their expense, as they deem necessary. The college attorney is not automatically bound to represent any individual staff or faculty member