Student Code of Conduct

Indian Hills Community College is an academic community built on the principles of mutual respect, integrity, and honesty. The college strives to provide a community wherein individuals have the right to express their opinions and ideas, to assemble peacefully, and to associate freely in a manner that does not interfere with the rights of others and is in the confines of intellectual honesty. In order to thrive as an educational institution, the college has adopted this Student Code of Conduct to promote and preserve its educational mission for the benefit of all who are invited to be a part of the community.



It is in the best interest of the college and all those who are students or who may desire to become students at the college that the disciplinary procedure be defined. This document prescribes procedures to be followed in disciplinary cases in order that cases may be handled in a timely manner while serving the interests of the college community and safeguarding the rights of all students. Administrative responsibility for the establishment and enforcement of policies governing non-academic student conduct and disciplinary action has been delegated by the Indian Hills Community College President to the Associate Dean, Student Development. The Dean has, in turn, delegated considerable authority for the establishment of rules and handling of violations to the Director, Student Life as well as other other bodies as designated in this policy.

Article I: Definitions
  1. The term “Respondent” means any student who has been formerly or informerly accused of violating this Student Code of Conduct.
  2. The term “business days” means all days except Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and college holidays. When counting days, the day a complaint is received at any point in the procedure shall be considered “day one.”
  3. The term “college” means Indian Hills Community College.
  4. The term “college premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the college (including adjacent streets and sidewalks).
  5. The term “college official” includes any person employed by the college or any person performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities on behalf of the college.
  6. The term “Complainant” means any person who submits a charge alleging that a student violated this Student Code of Conduct. When a student believes that they have been a victim of another student’s misconduct, the student who believes they have been a victim will have the same rights under this Student Code of Conduct as are provided to the Complainant, even if another member of the college community submitted the charge itself.
  7. The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the college to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the college to be a member of its faculty.
  8. The term “staff member” means any person employed by the college who is not a faculty member or student employee.
  9. The term “student organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for college recognition as a club or organization.
  10. The term “policy” means the written regulations of the college as found in, but not limited to, the student code of conduct, residence life handbook, academic program handbook(s), college catalog, and college website.
  11. The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at Indian Hills Community College, either full-time or part-time, pursuing degree or non-degree programs including customized learning and distance courses. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct, who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the college or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered “students,” although not enrolled in this institution.
  12. The term “student conduct administrator” means a college official authorized by the Vice President, Student Development & Operations to determine whether a student has violated the student conduct code and to impose sanctions which may include the Director, Student Life  as well as other other bodies as designated by the Dean.
  13. The term “sanction board chairperson” means an individual selected by the Dean or designee to facilitate Sanction Board.
  14. The term “sanction board” means any person or persons selected by the Sanction Board Chairperson, to serve as participants on the student conduct board, which may review any appeals concerning suspension or expulsion from the college.  
Article II: Student Code of Conduct Authority
  1. The Vice President, Student Development & Operations along with the Chairperson of the Sanction Board will determine the composition of Sanction Board.
  2. The Vice President, Student Development & Operations will develop policies for the administration of the student conduct system and procedural rules for the administration of Sanction Board Hearings that are not inconsistent with provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.
  3. Decisions made by the Sanction Board and/or a Student Conduct Administrator are final, pending the normal appeal process.
Article III: Prohibited Conduct
  1. Jurisdiction of the Student Code of Conduct
    The Student Code of Conduct will apply to conduct that occurs on college premises, at college-sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct, including, but not limited to, activities on college partners’ premises, that adversely affects the college community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student will be responsible for their conduct from the time of application for admission through the actual awarding of a degree.  Although conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment (and even if their conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded). The Student Code of Conduct applies to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.
  2. Conduct - Rules and Regulations
    Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following offenses is subject to the full range of disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV including warning, probation, suspension, or expulsion:
    1. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
      1. Furnishing false information to any college official, faculty member, or office.
      2. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification.
    2. Violations of non-discrimination policy.
    3. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, other college activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or of other authorized non-college activities when the conduct occurs on college premises.
    4. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, bullying, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the physical/mental health or safety of any person.
      1. Verbal abuse includes but is not limited to: derogatory remarks directed at another person or use of foul language that is excessive and pervasive on college property or at a college sponsored event.
    5. Telephone (cell, landline or social media apps that use a phone number) or Internet harassment, which shall include:
      1. Making calls containing lewd or obscene remarks.
      2. Making calls intended to harass or harm whether or not conversation ensues.
      3. Making the telephone ring repeatedly with intent to harass or harm.
      4. Making repeated calls in which conversation ensues solely to harass or harm.
      5. Sending text, picture or video messages with intent to harass or harm.
      6. Sending text, picture, video, or audio messages over electronic forums, including, but not limited to, social media websites, instant messenger or chat services, message boards or any other electronic format with intent to harass or harm.
    6. Violation of the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, which prohibits sexual misconduct in any form and includes any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent, by force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation.
    7. Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the college or property of a member of the college community or other personal or public property, on or off campus.
    8. Hazing, defined as an act which, intentionally or recklessly, endangers the physical health or safety of a student, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating in connection to the college.
    9. Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any college premises or unauthorized entry to or use of college premises.
    10. Violation of any college policy, rule, or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on the college website.
    11. Violation of any federal, state or local law.
    12. Manufacturing, selling, distribution, use, or possession of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law or possession of a device (drug paraphernalia) used to ingest or inhale an illegal drug or narcotic.  Indian Hills Community College reserves the right to search residence hall rooms and cars in any  college-owned parking lots using a canine trained to detect illegal substances.
    13. Manufacturing, selling, distribution, use, or possession of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by college regulations), or public intoxication. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person. 
    14. Participating in an on-campus or off-campus demonstration, riot or activity that disrupts the normal operations of the college and/or infringes on the rights of other members of the college community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area.
    15. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on college premises or at college sponsored or supervised functions.
    16. Conduct that is disorderly, lewd, or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on college premises or at functions sponsored by, or participated in by, the college or members of the college community.
    17. Any unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video record of any person while on college premises without their prior knowledge, or without their effective consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress. This includes, but is not limited to, surreptitiously taking pictures of another person in a gym, locker room, or restroom.
    18. Theft or other abuse of computer facilities and resources, including but not limited to:
      1. Unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
      2. Unauthorized transfer of a file.
      3. Use of another individual’s identification and/or password.
      4. Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or college official.
      5. Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or abusive messages.
      6. Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal operation of the college computing system.
      7. Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
      8. Any violation of college policies pertaining to use of information technology, including computer use policies.​
    19. Abuse of the Student Code of Conduct, including but not limited to:
      1. Failure to obey the notice from a Student Conduct Administrator or college official to appear for a meeting or hearing as part of the Student Conduct System.
      2. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a Student Conduct Administrator.
      3. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a conduct proceeding.
      4. Establishment of a student conduct code proceeding in bad faith (e.g. filing a false complaint).
      5. Attempt to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the conduct system.
      6. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a victim or other person who files a student conduct complaint or any participant(s) of a conduct proceeding, including but not limited to, their family members, friends, or acquaintances, witnesses, panel members, or advisors, prior to, during, and/or after a student conduct proceeding.
      7. Retaliation against a victim or other person who files a student conduct complaint or any participant(s) of a conduct proceeding, including but not limited to, their family members, friends, or acquaintances, witnesses, Board members, or advisors, prior to, during, and/or after a student conduct proceeding. This includes any form of intimidation, threats, harassment (verbal or physical) or knowingly filing a false complaint.
      8. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Code of Conduct.
      9. Influence or attempt to influence another person to commit an abuse of the student conduct code system.
    20. Intentionally sounding a false alarm or tampering with fire safety equipment.
    21. Use or possession on the campus or at or during any college-authorized function or event of firearms, ammunition, or other dangerous weapons, substances, or materials, except as expressly authorized by the College, or of bombs, explosives, or explosive or incendiary devices prohibited by law or any other violation of the college weapons policy.
      1. Weapons include, but are not limited to, any offensive weapon; a firearm of any kind such as a pistol, revolver, or other gun; BB or pellet guns; knives such as daggers, razors, stilettos, switchblade knives or knives with a blade exceeding five inches in length; bows and arrows or crossbows; tasers, or other portable devices that have projectable electric current capabilities that are designed to immobilize a person; explosives or incendiaries such as bombs, grenades, or fireworks; or simulations of any such items (devices that appear to be real such as a realistic toy, replica, paint-ball gun, etc.).
      2. Possession means that the person has actual physical control of the weapon because it is on or in the person’s body, or in an item of personal property belonging to the person (including, but not limited to, a backpack, briefcase, or handbag), or in a locker or other space individually assigned to the person.  “Possession” also means that the person knows, or should know, of the presence of a weapon within a vehicle which the person owns or operates, and that the person has the ability or right, either alone or with any other person, to maintain control of the weapon.
      3. This policy applies to all College campuses, attendance centers, dining facilities, and office buildings, whether owned, leased, or rented by the College, and anywhere that the College provides a service, including all housing owned by the College or that lies within the boundaries of a College campus. This includes personal vehicles located on College property, College vehicles, and College streets and walkways.
      4. Any individual who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal or expulsion.
    22. Undue or willful neglect to meet financial obligations to the College when properly notified by the College. Failure to comply with directions of college officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
    23. Misuse of college identification – Transferring, lending, borrowing, or altering a college identification.
    24. Violation of the Student Code of Conduct while on disciplinary probation, or violation of the terms of one’s probation.​
Article IV: Student Code of Conduct Procedures
  1. Charges and Student Conduct Hearings
    1. Any person may file charges against a student for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. A charge should be prepared in writing and directed to the Student Conduct Administrator or designee. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably within 60 days. With respect to any complaint that is 1) by a person who is not a member of the college community, and 2) relating to non-college conduct, the College reserves the right to determine, in its sole discretion, whether the conduct described in the complaint constitutes a sufficient risk to the college community to warrant processing the complaint.
    2. The Student Conduct Administrator or designee may conduct an investigation to determine if the charges have merit. If the Respondent elects to acknowledge their actions and take responsibility for the alleged misconduct, the Student Conduct Administrator or designee will develop a resolution to the complaint and issue a sanction. If the Respondent agrees to the proposed sanction, the complaint is resolved without a hearing and without any further rights of appeal. In regards to a sanction of suspension or expulsion, if the Respondent objects to the sanction, the Respondent may file an appeal as distribed in Artcile IV,D.  All cases will be disposed of through an administrative hearing conducted by the Vice President, Student Development & Operations, or designee. 
    3. Complaints alleging conduct that includes sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct will be handled according to the rules and procedures described in the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and the applicable sections of this policy.
    4. All charges will be presented to the Respondent in written form. A time will be set for a conduct meeting between the Respondent and the Student Conduct Administrator. If the Respondent does not attend the conduct meeting within 8 business days of being notified of the charge(s), the Student Conduct Administrator has the right to move forward with sanctions. 
    5. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in Student Code of Conduct proceedings.
    6. The determination of whether or not a violation of the Student Code of Conduct occurred will be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Student Code of Conduct. This is more formally referred to as the, “Preponderance of the Evidence Standard.”
    7. During the conduct meeting the Respondent will have an opportunity to respond to the charges and to present evidence or witnesses contesting the charges. The Student Conduct Administrator will determine if a violation occurred and will issue appropriate sanctions.
  2. Sanctions
    1. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct:
      1. Warning – a notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
      2. Probation – a written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to violate any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
      3. Loss of Privileges – denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time or location.
      4. Fines–previously established and published fines may be imposed.
      5. Restitution – compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
      6. Discretionary Sanctions – work assignments, essays, service to the college, or other related discretionary assignments.
      7. Deferred Suspension – A serious and final notification that any violation of College policy may result in the immediate suspension of the student from the College for a specified period of time after which the student would be eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified prior to the student being eligible to return.
      8. Suspension – separation of the student from the college for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
      9. Expulsion – permanent separation of the student from the college.
      10. 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 violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
      11. Withholding Degree – The College may withhold awarding a degree otherwise earned until the completion of the process set forth in this Student Conduct Code, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.
      12. Delayed Registration – A student may be required to delay their course registration until a Complainant or any other student(s) involved in a conduct matter has completed course registration. Delayed registration is for a specified number of terms or may be required until the Complainant or other involved student(s) graduate.
    2. More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
    3. Other than college expulsion or revocation 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 disciplinary record.
    4. In situations involving both a Respondent(s) (or group or organization) and student(s) claiming to be the victim of another student’s conduct, the records of the process and of the sanctions imposed, if any, will be considered to be the education records of both the Respondent(s) and the student(s) claiming to be the victim because the educational career and chances of success in the academic community of each may be impacted.
    5. The following sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
      1. Those sanctions listed above in article IV(B)(1)(a)–(k).
      2. Loss of selected rights and privileges for a specified period of time.
      3. Deactivation-loss of all privileges, including college recognition, for a specified period of time.
    6. In each case in which a  Student Conduct Administrator determines that a student and/or group or organization has violated the Student Code of Conduct, the sanction(s) will be determined and imposed by the Vice President, Student Development & Operations or Student Conduct Administrator.
  3. Interim Suspension
    ​In certain circumstances, the Vice President, Student Development & Operations may impose an interim suspension prior to the disposition of a student conduct hearing.
    1. Interim suspension may be imposed only:
      1. to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the college community or preservation of college property; or
      2. to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
      3. if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of the college.
    2. During the interim suspension, a student will be denied access to the campus (including classes) and/or all other college activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Vice President, Student Development & Operations may determine to be appropriate.
    3. The interim suspension does not replace the regular process, which will proceed on the normal schedule, up to and through a conduct meeting, or Sanction Board proceeding, if required. However, the student should be notified in writing of this action and the reasons for the suspension. The notice should include the time, date, and place of a subsequent hearing at which the student may show cause why his or her continued presence on the campus does not constitute a threat and at which they may contest whether a campus rule was violated.
  4. Appeals
    1. The Respondent(s) may only appeal when the final outcome sanction is suspension or expulsion. The Respondent(s) are required to submit a written appeal to the Vice President, Student Development & Operations by the deadline listed on the outcome letter (five business days from the decision). The Vice President, Student Development & Operations will determine if the decision and/or sanctions imposed will be upheld pending the outcome of the appellate decision. 
    2. Except as required to explain the basis of new information, an appeal will be limited to a review of the verbatim record of the student conduct hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:
      1. To determine whether the conduct process was administered fairly in light of the charges and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
      2. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Code of Conduct which the student was found to have committed.
      3. To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information and/or
        facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
    3. The Sanction Board chairperson along with two members of the Sanction Board will oversee the private hearing. The case files are reviewed by the selected Sanction Board members and an evaluation of the Respondent(s) institutional records are completed to eliminate the possibility of bias.
      1. In hearings involving more than one Respondent, the Vice President, Student Development & Operations, in their discretion, may permit the Sanction Board Hearing(s) concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
    4. The Respondent has the option to be assisted by an advisor they choose, at their own expense. An advisor can be anyone of their choosing with the exception of possible witnesses. The Respondent is responsible for presenting their own information, and therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in the Sanction Board Hearing. It is the responsibility of the Respondent to select an advisor whose schedule allows attendance at the designated date and time for the Sanction Board Hearing.  Delays will not be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor.
    5. The Respondent and their (optional) advisor will be allowed to attend the entire portion of the Sanction Board Hearing at which information is received (excluding deliberations). Admission of any other person to the Sanction Board Hearing will be at the discretion of the Sanction Board chairperson.
    6. The Respondent, Vice President, Student Development & Operations, and the Sanction Board may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information at the hearing. The College will try to arrange the attendance of possible witnesses who are members of the college community, if reasonably possible, and who are identified by the Respondent at least two business days prior to the Sanction  Board Hearing. Witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the Sanction Board.
    7. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by a Sanction Board at the discretion of the chairperson. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the Sanction Board.
    8. After the portion of the Sanction Board Hearing concludes in which all pertinent information has been received, the Sanction Board will determine by majority vote whether the Respondent has violated the section(s) of the Student Code of Conduct in which the student is charged. There will be a single verbatim record, such as a tape recording, of all Sanction Board Hearings. Deliberations will not be recorded. 
    9. The Sanction Board may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation during the hearing by providing separate facilities, by using a visual screen, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone, closed circuit television, video conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the Vice President, Student Development & Operations to be appropriate.
    10. The Sanction Board may uphold or reverse the decision regarding the violation and/or sanctions imposed. If the decision is reversed, the Sanction Board can propose alternative sanctions. The appeal decision of the Sanction Board is the final decision of the college, and no further appeals are permitted under this policy.
    11. All parties will be informed of whether the grounds for an appeal are accepted and the results of the appeal decision. The Vice President, Student Development & Operations will notify the Respondent of the outcome of the appeal hearing in writing within ten (10) business days of completion of the hearing.
Article V: Composition of Student Conduct Committee
  1. The Sanction Board is appointed by the Vice President, Student Development & Operations and is composed of at least three (3) staff members nominated by the Director of Human Resources, at least three (3) faculty members nominated by the Vice President, Learning and Engagement, and at least one (1) faculty/staff chairperson appointed by the Vice President, Student Development & Operations. The Vice President will preside over all meetings of the Sanction Board and is appointed by the Vice President, Student Development & Operations and is composed of a variety of faculty and staff members from across the campus community.
Article VI: Training
  1. The Associate Dean, Student Development will conduct annual training with persons involved in the administration of the student conduct system. This includes, but is not limited to, the Sanction Board members and other Student Conduct Administrators. Training will be conducted in a manner that is consistent with provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.
Article VII: Interpretation and Revision
  1. Any question of interpretation or application of the Student Code of Conduct will be referred to the Associate Dean, Student Development  for final determination.
  2. The Student Code of Conduct will be reviewed annually under the direction of the Associate Dean, Student Development and Director of Safety & Security.

Non-Discrimination Policy: It is the policy of Indian Hills Community College not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, political party affliliation, age (employment), sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, and actual or potential parental, family, or marital status in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code §§216.6 and 216.9, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d and 2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 206, et seq.), Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 U.S.C §§ 1681 – 1688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.).

If you have questions or complaints related to compliance with this policy, please contact Director, Human Resources/Equity Coordinator (staff), 525 Grandview Ave, Ottumwa, IA 52501, (641) 683-5282, [email protected]; Associate Dean, Student Development (students), (641) 683-5155, [email protected]; Executive Dean, Centerville Campus & Learning Services (students with disabilities), (641) 683-5174, [email protected]; U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison, Suite 1475. Chicago, IL 60661, phone number (312) 730-1560, fax (312) 730-1576. Read the full policy here.