Office of Student Conduct

The ultimate goal of student conduct is student growth and development and the preservation of the educational environment. The Office of Student conduct works to support institutional and educational missions. Staff engages and educates students to be better citizens by guiding them towards ethical decision making and accountability. The purpose of the Office of Student Conduct is to identify and address problematic behaviors that may prevent a student/s from being successful in achieving their goals at MJC. Through due process, the Office of Student Conduct will strive to find a solution that promotes student success and campus safety.

While there are times when the Office of Student Conduct issues sanctions regarding violations of the Standards of Conduct at MJC, the main purpose of the student conduct process is to help students reach their academic and professional goals through an equitable process.  Often times, the Office of Student Conduct will collaborate with the MJC Behavioral Intervention Team, MJC Office of Counseling, MJC Health Services, and Student Success & Support Program(SSSP) Specialists in order to ensure a student is successful both in the student conduct process and in reaching their goals.

Due Process

Student conduct at Modesto Junior College follows policies and procedures outlined by the California Education Code and Yosemite Community College District Board Policy 3-8020.

Due Process rights are basic human rights and are enumerated in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. By establishing fair and equitable dispute resolution policies, it is the intent of the Governing Board of the Yosemite Community College District to respond to allegations of misconduct with a balance that protects the accuser while affording the safeguards of due process for the accused.

The Chancellor is directed to ensure that the following minimum standards for due process will be applied for all members of the District community and that Administrative Procedures are drafted if necessary to further implement this policy:

1. If a complaint is received by the District, the District may close the matter without further action after the District conducts a thorough preliminary investigation.

2. If the District determines that further investigation beyond the preliminary stage is warranted, the District shall inform the individual against whom allegations have been made (referred to as the Responding Party or “RP”), in writing, of the nature and scope of all charges brought against the RP, at least ten business days before an initial meeting with an administrator or investigator.  At minimum, unless legally prohibited, a copy of Board Policy 3-8020 and a written detailed summary of the allegations will be provided, including reference to time(s), date(s) and location(s), individuals involved, specific conduct alleged, and policies alleged to have been violated. The written complaint shall be provided unless otherwise prohibited by law or if such 6 disclosure would compromise the integrity of the investigation, or the safety of a complainant or witness.

3. The District reserves the right to place the RP on leave or reassign the RP to another position or work area while it carries out an investigation. 

4. The RP shall be informed that she or he has the right to a presumption of innocence and that the burden of proof lies with the District. 

5. The RP will have the right to have a representative of the RP’s choice present at interviews or hearings at RP’s sole expense. In addition, a CBA member has a right to a union representative. Representatives are permitted to be active participants (but not obstruct) any hearings, meetings, or interviews. Recording of any interviews during the investigation will only be made by mutual consent of RP and the investigator. All proceedings should be conducted in a respectful and dignified manner. 

6. Prior to the District taking any final disciplinary action against the RP, the District shall provide to the RP any relevant documents, including any final investigative report and notice of the right to respond to the charges, either orally, in writing, or both, prior to the disciplinary action. Such notice will be provided at least ten (10) working days prior to any disciplinary action or hearing.

7. RP shall notify the applicable administrator within five (5) working days if RP requests an informal hearing. To the extent permitted by law, the RP will be provided with a copy of the report, including when there is no finding of misconduct, and even if the formal accusation was dropped. Retaliation or threats made by RP (or the RP’s allies) against accusers is itself grounds for discipline. 

8. If RP requests a hearing, the Human Resources Administrator or other appropriate administrator will serve as the hearing officer. The hearing officer shall not be the same person who investigated the matter. The RP is entitled to an impartial, unbiased panel or trier of fact. Any hearing officer must render an impartial review and decision of the issue in dispute. The RP has the right to challenge a fact-finder(s) for bias if the RP contends that the fact-finder cannot be a fair or impartial decision-maker. Any challenge submitted by the RP to the fact-finder shall be submitted, as applicable to the person and situation, to the College President, Human Resources Administrator, District Chancellor, or District Board of Trustees (“decision-maker”). The decision-maker’s determination shall be final. 

9. During the hearing, the RP will have the right to present RP’s side of the issues, refute the evidence, and produce any oral or written documentary evidence, in real time. The RP’s representative also has the right to question witnesses, including the accuser, and respond to another party’s version of events. Witnesses may participate in the hearing from an off-site location through the use of videoconferencing or similar means.

10. An RP has a right to a decision based on the “clear and convincing’ standard of evidence.

11. The hearing officer will present his or her written findings to the RP within ten (10) working days.

12. Any finding of misconduct may be appealed according to existing procedures.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

The Yosemite Community College District (to include Modesto Junior College and Columbia College) does not permit discrimination or harassment in its programs and activities on the basis of sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy status or any other characteristic protected by District policy or state, local, or federal law.

What are the Standards of Conduct?

Student conduct at Modesto Junior College follows policies and procedures outlined by the California Education Code and Yosemite Community College District Board Policy 5500. 

The following conduct shall constitute good cause for discipline, including but not limited to the removal, suspension or expulsion of a student:

  1. Causing, attempting to cause, or threatening to cause physical injury to another person.
  2. Possession, sale or otherwise furnishing any firearm, knife, explosive or other dangerous object, including but not limited to any facsimile firearm, knife, or explosive, unless, in the case of possession of any object of this type, the student has obtained written permission to possess the item from a District employee, which is concurred in by the college president.
  3. Unlawful possession, use, sale, offer to sell, or furnishing, or being under the influence of, any controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of Division of the California Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind; or unlawful possession of, or offering, arranging or negotiating the sale of any drug paraphernalia, as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 11014.5.
  4. Committing or attempting to commit robbery or extortion.
  5. Causing or attempting to cause damage to District property or to private property on campus.
  6. Stealing or attempting to steal District property or private property on campus, or knowingly receiving stolen District property or private property on campus.
  7. Willful or persistent smoking in any area where smoking has been prohibited by law or by regulation of the college or the District.
  8. Committing sexual harassment as defined by law or by District policies and procedures.
  9. Engaging in harassing or discriminatory behavior based on disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law.
  10. Engaging in intimidating conduct or bullying against another student through words or actions, including direct physical contact; verbal assaults, such as teasing or name-calling; social isolation or manipulation; and cyberbullying.
  11. Willful misconduct which results in injury or death to a student or to college personnel or which results in cutting, defacing, or other injury to any real or personal property owned by the District or on campus.
  12. Disruptive behavior, willful disobedience, habitual profanity or vulgarity, or the open and persistent defiance of the authority of, or persistent abuse of, college personnel.
  13. Cheating, plagiarism (including plagiarism in a student publication), or engaging in other academic dishonesty.
  14. Dishonesty, forgery, alteration or misuse of college documents, records or identification; or knowingly furnishing false information to the District.
  15. Unauthorized entry upon or use of college facilities.
  16. Lewd, indecent or obscene conduct on District-owned or controlled property or at District sponsored or supervised functions.
  17. Engaging in expression which is obscene; libelous, or slanderous; or which so incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on college premises, or the violation of lawful District administrative procedures, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the District.
  18. Persistent, serious misconduct where other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct.
  19. Unauthorized preparation, giving, selling, transfer, distribution, or publication, for any commercial purpose, of any contemporaneous recording of an academic presentation in a classroom or equivalent site of instruction, including but not limited to handwritten or typewritten class notes, except as permitted by any District policy or administrative procedure.
  20. Sexual assault, defined as actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent, regardless of the victim’s affiliation with the community college.
  21. Sexual exploitation, defined as a person taking sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person’s consent, regardless of the victim’s affiliation with the community college.

 

Student Conduct Process-Classroom

Academic Violations (Academic Dishonesty)-Students who are accused of violating the Standards of Conduct in regards to Academic Honesty, are informed of the allegation of by their professor.  If the student agrees to the allegation then the teacher simply fills out a Student Conduct Report Form and click the box stating the student has agreed to the violation.  The teacher will list the action taken and forward the report to their dean.  The dean reviews the report and if all procedures all followed, the dean will forward the report the to Student Conduct Officer to officially close the case. The student will receive a letter from the Student Conduct Officer. 

Should the student disagree with the allegations then the teacher fills out a Student Conduct Report Form and clicks the box stating the student has not agreed to the violation.  The teacher will list suggested  actions to be taken and forward the report to their dean.  The dean shall meet with the student to review the case.  If the student agrees to the wrongdoing then the dean will forward the report the to Student Conduct Officer to officially close the case. The student will receive a letter from the Student Conduct Officer. 

Should the student disagree with the allegations when meeting with the dean then the dean will forward the report the to Student Conduct Officer for an official hearing. The decision of the Student Conduct Officer is final.  The student will receive a letter from the Student Conduct Officer. 

Behavioral Violations (Disruptive Behavior)-Students who are accused of violating the Standards of Conduct in regards to Disruptive Behavior, are informed of the allegation of by their professor.  If the student agrees to the allegation then the teacher simply fills out a Student Conduct Report Form and click the box stating the student has agreed to the violation.  The teacher will list the action taken and forward the report to their dean.  The dean reviews the report and if all procedures all followed, the dean will forward the report the to Student Conduct Officer to officially close the case. The student will receive a letter from the Student Conduct Officer. 

Should the student disagree with the allegations then the teacher fills out a Student Conduct Report Form and clicks the box stating the student has not agreed to the violation.  The teacher will list suggested  actions to be taken and forward the report to their dean.  The dean shall meet with the student to review the case.  If the student agrees to the wrongdoing then the dean will forward the report the to Student Conduct Officer to officially close the case. The student will receive a letter from the Student Conduct Officer. 

Should the student disagree with the allegations when meeting with the dean then the dean will forward the report the to Student Conduct Officer for an official hearing. The decision of the Student Conduct Officer is final.  The student will receive a letter from the Student Conduct Officer. 

Should a student's behavior be disruptive to a level that it makes learning not possible in a classroom, the teacher may remove the student from class for two class sessions.  Before returning to class the student must meet with the area dean.  

Student Rights in a Formal Hearing

In a formal hearing the Reporting Party, the Responding Party, and witnesses present their facts of the case to the Student Conduct Officer.  After hearing all statements and reviewing all evidence, in accordance with YCCD Board Policy 5500, the Student Conduct Office will render a finding of "Not Responsible" or "Responsible.  If a student is found responsible the Student Conduct Officer may issue sanction that range from a warning or loss of privileges to temporary restrictions or suspension. 

-You must be notified by student e-mail of the date, time and location of the Student Conduct Hearing.  You must at least five (5) days’ notice.

-You have the right to be assisted by an advisor of your choice, at your own expense.  The advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney or any other supporter a party chooses to advise them who is both eligible and available.  If you choose to be represented by an attorney, a request must be presented in writing not less than five days prior to the date of the hearing. 

-You have a right to review all evidence presented, question all witnesses, and present your version of the facts at the hearing.

-You have a right, as outlined in YCCD Board Policy 5500, to appeal any long term sanction. This must be done in writing within 5 days.