Note: For purposes of brevity, the title “vice president” will refer to the vice president of student services throughout this section

I. Preamble
Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and the well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of this academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility. As members of the academic community, students are subject to the obligations accrued to them by virtue of this membership. As members of the larger community of which the College is a part, students are entitled to all rights and protection accorded them by the laws of that community.

By the same token, students are also subject to all laws, the enforcement of which is the responsibility of duly constituted authorities. When students violate laws, they may incur penalties prescribed by legal authorities. In such instance, college discipline will be initiated only when the presence of the student on campus will substantially disrupt the educational process of the College. However, when a student’s violation of the law also adversely affects the College’s pursuit of its recognized educational objectives, the College may enforce its own regulations.

When students violate college regulations, they are subject to disciplinary action by the College whether or not their conduct violates the law. If the student’s behavior simultaneously violates both College regulations and the law, the College may take disciplinary action independent of that taken by legal authorities.

II. Student Rights

  1. All rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution of the United States and by the state of North Carolina shall not be denied any student.
  2. Students are free to pursue their educational goals. Appropriate opportunities for learning in the classroom and on the campus shall be provided for by the College. Student performance will be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.
  3. Students have the right to freedom of expression, inquiry, and assembly without restraint or censorship subject to reasonable and non discriminatory rules and regulations regarding time, place, and manner.
  4. Students have the right to inquire about and to propose improvements in policies, regulations, and procedures affecting the welfare of students through established student government procedures, campus committees, and College offices.
  5. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 provides safeguards regarding the confidentiality of and access to student records and this act will be adhered to by the College. Students and former students have the right to review their official records and to request a hearing if they challenge the contents of these records. No records shall be made available to unauthorized personnel or groups outside the College without the written consent of the student involved except under legal expulsion.
  6. No disciplinary sanctions (other than temporary removal from class or activity only for duration of said activity) may be imposed upon any student without due process. Due process procedures are established to guarantee a student accused of a Student Code of Conduct violation the right of a hearing, a presentation of charges, evidence for charges, the right to present evidence, the right to have witnesses on one’s behalf and to hear witnesses on behalf of the accuser(s), the right to counsel, and the right of appeal.
  7. The Student Right To Know Act requires Johnston Community College to disclose information about graduation, completion, and transfer-out rates to current and prospective students and the public. This information is provided to students and prospective students in The College section of this catalog under the Performance Measures Results heading, through the College Web site, from the Office of Student Services, and in other publications.

III. Student Code of Conduct
The College reserves the right to maintain a safe and orderly educational environment for students and staff. Therefore, when in the judgment of College officials, a student’s conduct disrupts or threatens to disrupt the College community, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken to restore and protect the sanctity of the community.

The act of enrollment at Johnston Community College indicates acceptance by the student of published rules and policies of the College. The purpose of this code is not to restrict student rights but to protect the rights of individuals in their academic pursuits.

The following regulations set forth rules of conduct prohibiting certain types of student behavior. Violation of one or more of the following regulations may result in one of the sanctions described in Section V. Prohibited conduct shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. Academic dishonesty involving taking or acquiring possession of any academic material (test information, research papers, notes, etc.) from a member of the College staff or student body without permission; receiving or giving help during tests; submitting papers or reports (that are supposed to be original work) that are not entirely the student’s own; not giving credit for others’ work (plagiarism).
  2. Theft of, misuse of, or damage to College property, or theft of or damage to property of a member of the College community or a campus visitor on College premises or at College functions; unauthorized entry upon the property of the College or into a College facility or a portion thereof which has been restricted in use and thereby placed off limits; unauthorized presence in a College facility after closing hours.
  3. Possession of or use of alcoholic beverages or being in a state of intoxication on the College campus or at College sponsored or supervised functions off-campus or in College owned vehicles. Possession, use or distribution of any illegal drugs, except as expressly permitted by law. Any influence which may be attributed to the use of drugs or of alcoholic beverages shall not in any way limit the responsibility of the individual for the consequences of his or her actions.
  4. Disorderly, lewd or indecent conduct, including but not limited to, public urination, defecation, sexual acts performed in public or on college premises, taking pictures of another person in a gym locker room or restroom without that person's consent, disrobing or streaking, and possession or distribution of any obscene materials.
  5. The use of legally obscene language or behavior that materially or substantially disrupts college function.
  6. Excessive noise on college property including its hallways, walkways, driveways, and parking areas.
  7. Conduct which threatens or endangers the health/safety of any person on the campus, online, or at any College authorized function/activity including, but not limited to, physical abuse, the threat of physical abuse, sexual misconduct and assault.
  8. Discrimination on the grounds of age, race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, creed, military or veteran status, or genetic information of on College premises, at College-sponsored or supervised functions, or online that is sufficiently severe that it limits or denies an individual the ability to participate in or benefit from the College's educational program or activities.
  9. Any act, comment, or behavior that materially and substantially disrupts the college or interferes with a student's performance including that which promotes actual violence or harm, fighting words, true threats, violations of the law, criminal or severe harassment, defamation that harms a person's reputation, false advertising or commercial speech that is misleading, or the use of public resources for partisan political activities.
  10. Intimidation (implied threats) or coercion that causes a reasonable fear of harm in another.
  11. Material or substantial obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration or disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities, including public service functions and other duly authorized activities on College premises.
  12. Occupation or seizure in any manner of College property, a College facility or any portion thereof for a use inconsistent with prescribed, customary, or authorized use.
  13. Participating in or conducting an assembly, demonstration, or gathering in a manner which threatens or causes injury to person or property; which interferes with free access to, ingress or egress of College facilities; which is harmful, obstructive or disruptive to the educational process or institutional functions of the College; remaining at the scene of such an assembly after being asked to leave by a representative of the College staff.
  14. Possession or use of a firearm, incendiary device, or explosive, except in connection with a College approved activity. This also includes unauthorized use of any instrument designed to inflict serious bodily injury to any person.
  15. Setting off a fire alarm or using or tampering with any fire safety equipment, except with reasonable belief in the need for such alarm or equipment.
  16. Gambling.
  17. Smoking and/or using other forms of tobacco products or use of electronic cigarettes in classrooms, shops, and labs or other unauthorized areas.
  18. Violation of College regulations regarding the operation and parking of motor vehicles.
  19. Forgery, alteration, copyright violation, or misuse of College documents, records, computer software, or computer equipment with intent to deceive; making a knowingly false statement, either orally or in writing, to a College official.
  20. Failure to comply with instructions of College officials acting in performance of their duties, including failure to provide student ID in a timely manner when requested.
  21. Violations of the terms of disciplinary probation or any College regulation during the period of probation.
  22. 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.
  23. Violation of a local, state, or federal criminal law on College premises adversely affecting the College community’s pursuit of its proper educational purposes.
  24. Violation of the College’s Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy.
  25. Use of cell phones, pagers or other electronic devices while attending class or participating in class-related activities (i.e. labs, clinicals, etc.) without prior approval of the instructor.
  26. Failure to respond to a notice of charges.

Please note: Certain programs such as associate degree nursing and basic law enforcement training also have supplementary codes of conduct to which students within those programs must adhere.

IV. Disciplinary Procedures

  1. Immediate Suspension
    If an act of misconduct threatens the health or well-being of any member of the academic community or seriously disrupts the function and good order of the College, an instructor or administrative officer may direct the student(s) involved to cease and desist such conduct and advise them that failing to cease and desist will result in immediate suspension. If the student(s) fails to cease and desist, the instructor may then suspend the student(s) from the class. The vice president/designee or the president may suspend the student(s) from either the class or the College until a resolution of the matter can be made.

    The instructor or administrative officer invoking such suspension shall notify the vice president in writing of the individual(s) involved and the nature of the infraction as soon as possible but no more than two days following the incident. The vice president shall resolve the matter in a timely fashion utilizing the steps outlined below in Section IV, C.
  2. Responsibility for Implementation
    The vice president/designee is responsible for implementing student discipline procedures.
  3. Disciplinary Procedures
    In order to provide an orderly procedure for handling student disciplinary cases in accordance with due process and justice, the following procedures will be followed:
    1. Charges:Any administrative official, faculty member, or student may file charges with the vice president against any student or student organization for violations of College regulations. The individual(s) making the charge must complete a charge form (available from the office of the vice president or the College’s Web site) stating:
      1. name of the student(s) involved,
      2. the alleged violation of the specific Code of Conduct,
      3. the time, place, and date of the incident,
      4. names of person(s) directly involved or witnesses to the infractions,
      5. any actions taken that relate to the matter, The completed charge form should be forwarded directly to the vice president.
    2. Investigation and Decision: Within five working days after the charge is filed, the vice president/designee shall complete a preliminary investigation of the charge and shall schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the alleged infraction.
      The vice president/designee may act as follows:
      1. Drop the charges.
      2. Impose a sanction consistent with those shown in Section V.
      3. Refer the student to a College office or community agency for services.
    3. Notification:The decision of the vice president/designee shall be presented to the student orally or in writing immediately following the meeting with the student. In instances where the student cannot be reached to schedule an appointment with the vice president/designee or where the student refuses to cooperate, the vice president/designee shall send a certified letter to the student’s last known address providing the student with a list of the charges, the vice president’s decision, and instructions governing the appeal process (Section VI).

V. Sanctions:
The Student Code of Conduct sanctions are listed below. The list does not imply an order or sequence of sanctions. The sanctions in each case will be determined by the factors related to the specific cases. Sanctions include the following:

  1. Verbal Warning: A verbal warning statement, including friendly advice, counsel, criticism, or rebuke, to the student that further disciplinary action will take place if the specific behavior/condition is continued or repeated.
  2. Reprimand: A written warning statement to the student which gives official notice to the student that any subsequent offense against the Student Code of Conduct will carry heavier penalties because of this prior infraction.
  3. General Probation: An individual may be placed on general probation when involved in a minor disciplinary offense. General probation has two important implications: the individual is given a chance to show capability and willingness to observe the Student Code of Conduct without further penalty; secondly, if the individual errs again, further action will be taken. This probation will be in effect for no more than two semesters.
  4. Restrictive Probation: Restrictive probation results in the loss of good standing and becomes a matter of record. Restrictive conditions may limit activity in the College community. Generally, the individual will not be eligible for initiation into any local or national organization and may not receive any College award or other honorary recognition. The individual 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 semesters. Any violation of restrictive probation may result in immediate suspension.
  5. Restitution: Paying for damaging, misusing, destroying, or losing property belonging to the College, College personnel, or students.
  6. Interim Suspension: Exclusion from class and/or other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice until a final decision has been made concerning the alleged violation.
  7. Loss of Academic Credit or Grade: Imposed as a result of academic dishonesty.
  8. Withholding the Transcript, Diploma, or Right to Register or Participate in Graduation Ceremonies: Imposed when financial obligations are not met. (Will not be allowed to register until all financial obligations are met.)
  9. Suspension: Exclusion from class and/or all other privileges or activities of the College 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 the vice president before returning to campus.
  10. Expulsion: Dismissing a student from campus for an indefinite period resulting in losing student status. The student may be readmitted to the College only with the approval of the president.
  11. Suspension from Campus Activities: Exclusion from participation in designated student clubs, organizations, or activities for a specified period of time and/or loss of officer standing within a student organization.
  12. 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 term of the sentence, the charter may be revoked or activities restricted.
  13. Group Restriction: Removing College recognition during the semester in which the offense occurred or for a longer period (usually not more than one other semester). 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.
  14. Group Charter Revocation: Removal of College recognition for a group, club, society, or other organizations for a minimum of two years. The re-chartering of a group/club must be approved by the College president.
  15. Other Sanctions: Students may be required to attend workshops or research topics that pertain to the behavior that violated the Code of Conduct. These sanctions assist the student to gain the skills necessary to avoid future conduct code violations.

VI. Appeals Procedure
A student who disagrees with the decision of the vice president/designee may request a hearing before the Disciplinary Review Committee. This request must be submitted in writing to the vice president/designee within three working days after receipt of the decision. The vice president/designee shall refer the matter to the Disciplinary Review Committee together with a report of the nature of the alleged misconduct, the name of the complainant, the name of the student against whom the charge has been filed, and the relevant facts revealed by the vice president’s/designee's investigation.

  1. Committee Composition
    Membership of the Disciplinary Review Committee shall be composed of the following:
    1. Three faculty/staff members appointed by the president of the College.*
    2. Three student members appointed by the Student Government Association and approved by the president of the College.
    3. The president will appoint one administrator to serve as committee chairperson who will vote only in case of a tie.
    4. The vice president as an ex officio non voting member.
    5. Committee members will serve a two-year term, beginning in January and ending in December. Replacements will be appointed by the president or SGA if necessary.
    6. *The three faculty/staff members appointed by the President of the College will serve as the Disciplinary/Grievance Review Committee for all Title IX cases.
  2. Procedure for Hearings Before the Disciplinary Review Committee
    1. Procedural responsibilities of the vice president:
      The Review Committee must meet within 10 working days of receipt of a request for a hearing. At least five working days prior to the date set for the hearing, the vice president shall send a certified letter to the student’s last known address providing the student with the following information:
      1. A restatement of the charge or charges.
      2. The time and place of the hearing.
      3. A statement of the student’s basic procedural rights.
      4. A list of witnesses.
      5. The names of committee members.
    2. Basic procedural rights of students include the following:
      1. The right to counsel. The role of the person acting as counsel is solely to advise the student. The counsel shall not address the committee. In cases of sexual misconduct, the accuser and accused can have an advisor of their choice present during the disciplinary hearing.
      2. The right to produce witnesses on one’s behalf.
      3. The right to request, in writing, the president to disqualify any member of the committee for prejudice or bias. (The request must contain justification.) A request for disqualification, if made, must be submitted at least three working days prior to the hearing. If such disqualification occurs, the appropriate nominating body shall appoint a replacement to be approved by the president.
      4. The right to present evidence.
      5. The right to know the identity of the person(s) bringing the charge(s).
      6. The right to testify or to refuse to testify without such refusal being detrimental to the student.
      7. The right to appeal the decision of the committee to the president who will review the official record of the hearing. The appeal must be in writing and it must be made within five working days of the completion of the hearing.
    3. The Conduct of the Committee Hearings
      1. Hearings before the committee shall be confidential and shall be closed to all persons except the following:
        1. The student.
        2. Counsel or, in cases of sexual misconduct, Advisors.
        3. Witnesses who shall:
          1. Give testimony singularly and in the absence of other witnesses.
          2. Leave the committee meeting room immediately following completion of the testimony.
      2. The hearing will be recorded. Recordings will be used for transcription purposes and will be erased once a written record of the hearing is established.
      3. The committee shall have the authority to adopt supplementary rules of procedure consistent with this code.
      4. The committee shall have the authority to render written advisory opinions concerning the meaning and application of this code.
      5. Upon completion of a hearing, the committee shall meet in executive session to determine concurrence or non-concurrence with the original finding and to recommend sanctions if applicable.
      6. Decisions of the committee shall be made by majority vote.
      7. Within two working days after the decision of the committee, the vice president shall send a certified letter to the student’s last known address providing the student with the committee’s decision.
    4. Appeal to the President
      A student who refuses to accept the findings of the committee may appeal in writing to the president within five working days after receipt of the committee’s decision. The president shall have the authority to:
      1. Review the findings of the proceedings of the committee.
      2. Hear from the student, the vice president, and the members of the committee before ruling on an appeal.
      3. Approve, modify, or overturn the decision of the committee.
      4. Inform the student in writing of the final decision within 10 working days of the receipt of the appeal.

VII. Student Grievance Procedure

  1. Purpose
    The purpose of the student grievance procedure is to provide a system to channel student complaints against faculty, staff, and students concerning the following:
    1. Alleged discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, sex, covered veteran status or other conditions, preferences or behavior, excluding sexual discrimination complaints.
    2. Sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, complaints should be directed to the vice president. Because of the sensitive nature of this kind of complaint, a conference with the vice president will replace the first and second steps of the grievance procedure. The vice president will counsel with the student to determine the appropriate action. If the grievance is not resolved after this meeting, then the remainder of the grievance procedure will be followed.
    3. Academic matters, excluding individual grades and attendance.
  2. Procedure
    1. First Step
      The student must go to the faculty or staff member where the alleged problem originated. An attempt will be made to resolve the matter equitably and informally at this level. The conference must take place within five working days of the incident which generated the complaint.
    2. Second Step
      If the complaint is not resolved at the informal conference with the faculty or staff member, the student should meet with the faculty member’s director of programs in consultation with the dean or staff member’s direct supervisor within five (5) working days after satisfying step 1. As part of the effort to resolve the issue, the director of programs or supervisor will consult with the individual who the complaint is directed toward and the dean or the chief administrative officer of that division.
    3. Third Step
      If the complaint is not resolved at the informal conference with the director of programs in consultation with the dean or direct supervisor, the student may file a written grievance with the vice president of student services. The grievance form may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President of Student Services. The completed grievance form and the reason why the response of the dean or supervisor was unsatisfactory must be presented to the Office of the Vice President of Student Services within five (5) working days after satisfying Step 2.

      The vice president shall immediately notify the president who shall insure that the committee is organized in a manner consistent with Section C of this procedure (The Student Grievance Committee). The vice president will send copies of the appeal to the members of the committee, the employee, and the employee’s supervisor. The employee against whom the grievance was filed shall be given an opportunity to respond in writing to the chairperson of the committee.

      Meeting(s) shall be conducted between five and 15 (15) working days following the date of the request. A postponement may be granted by the chairperson upon written request of either party if the reason stated justifies such action.

      The committee shall hold interviews with the grievant, the employee, and the supervisor, singularly, and in the absence of other witnesses. The committee may interview any additional witnesses that it considers necessary to render a fair decision.

      The committee shall decide by a majority vote the resolution of the grievance. In case of a tie, the chairperson will vote, thus breaking the tie. The chairperson shall forward a copy of the committee’s decision to all parties involved and to the Office of the President of the College within two working days.
    4. Fourth Step
      The committee’s decision may be appealed to the president of the College within three (3) working days of the committee’s decision by either party involved. The president shall review the committee’s findings, conduct whatever additional inquiries deemed necessary, and render a decision within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal.
  3. The Disciplinary Review Committee will serve as the Student Grievance Committee.
  4. Rights of Parties Involved in a Grievance
    When a grievance committee meeting is scheduled, the parties involved are entitled to:
    1. A written notice of the complaint.
    2. A written notice of the time and place of the meeting. This notice shall be forwarded to all parties at least three working days prior to the meeting unless they waive this requirement.
    3. Review all available evidence, documents, or exhibits that each party may present at the meeting.
    4. Have access to the names of the witnesses who may testify.
    5. Appear in person and present information on his or her behalf, call witnesses, and ask questions of any person present at the meeting.
    6. The right to counsel. The role of the person acting as counsel is solely to advise the client. The counsel shall not address the committee.
    7. In cases of sexual misconduct, the accuser and the accused can have an advisor of their choice present during the disciplinary proceedings.
    8. Time Periods and Limitations
      Reasonable efforts shall be made by all parties to expedite the grievance process. A time limitation specified for either party may be extended by mutual agreement. If there is no mutual written agreement to extend the time limits, and if a decision at one level is not appealed by the student to the next level of the procedure within the time limits specified, the right of the student to further appeal is terminated.