Catalog and Student Handbook
The Germanna Community College Board approved the following Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities on May 12, 1978, revised December 2008. Representatives of the students and faculty prior to College Board approval reviewed these policy statements.
Questions or recommendations regarding the policy contained herein should be addressed to the Dean of Student Development.
Nursing students must also adhere to standards of conduct outlined in the Nursing Program Student Handbook.
This statement is designed to clarify the rights that the student may expect to enjoy as a member of the Germanna student body. In addition, those responsibilities which admission to the College places upon the student must be understood. Awareness of and adherence to this statement should create a safe and comfortable environment that fosters learning.
Students are guaranteed the privilege of exercising certain rights without fear of prejudice to include:
The pursuit of educational goals and learning opportunities within the curricula of the College and within the resources of the College;
Disciplinary sanctions only with due process as provided herein;
Free inquiry, expression, and assembly provided such actions do not interfere with the rights of others or the effective operation of the institution;
Fair and justifiable academic evaluation of student performance.
Administration of College Policy: Responsible for the administration of the College is the President who is subject to the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System and the State Board of Community Colleges.
It is the President’s duty to administer the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia as they are applicable to the College and to fairly implement the policies, rules, and regulations of the State Board for Community Colleges, the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, and the Germanna College Board.
Any authority or responsibility or duty granted to or imposed upon the College President may be delegated to another person or persons on the faculty or staff of the College. The President or an appropriate delegate may take whatever legal or institutional action is necessary to activate this authority.
Standards of Conduct: Students who associate themselves with Germanna Community College are expected to act as responsible adults and maintain standards appropriate to membership in the College community. It is the students’ responsibility to attend class and participate in class activities. The following misconduct is subject to disciplinary action:
- All forms of dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to the College, and the forgery, alteration, or use of College documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud. (The college’s Academic Honesty Policy also applies in cases of cheating and plagiarism.)
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other College activities. (Including, but not limited to disruptions caused by cell phones and other electronic devices.)
- Physical and/or psychological abuse or the threat of such abuse of any person on College premises or at College activities. This includes hazing of any sort. Hazing is defined as initiating or disciplining someone by means of horseplay, practical jokes, or tricks, often in the nature of humiliating or painful ordeals.
- Discriminatory harassment (oral, written, graphic, or physical) directed against any person or group of persons because of their race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status and that has the purpose or reasonably foreseeable effect of creating an offensive, demeaning, intimidating, or hostile environment for that person or group of persons. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, objectionable epithets, demeaning depictions or treatment, and threatened or actual abuse or harm.
- Participating in or inciting a riot or an unauthorized or disorderly assembly.
- Seizing, holding, commandeering, or damaging any property or facilities of the College, or threatening to do so, or refusing to depart from any property or facilities of the College upon direction by College officials or other persons authorized by the College.
- Violation of College Computer Ethics standards.
- Use of alcoholic beverages including the purchase, consumption, possession, or sale of such items on College property or at College functions except where specifically authorized by the College.
- Gambling or holding an unauthorized raffle or lottery on the campus or at any College function.
- Smoking in areas not designated by the College as a smoking area.
- Possessing, using, manufacturing, or distributing any controlled substances or any type of drugs for illegal purposes.
- Possessing on College property or at any College activity any weapon, including dangerous chemical or explosive elements or component parts thereof, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other firearm without written authorization of the Chief of Police or the President of the College except when carried by bona fide law enforcement officials in their official capacities. Any violation of the College Weapons policy is also considered an act of student misconduct.
- Physically detaining or restraining any other persons or removing such persons from any place where he/she is authorized to remain, or in any way obstructing the free movement of persons or vehicles on College premises or at College activities.
- Littering, defacing, destroying, or damaging property of the College or property in its control or possessing, removing, or using such property without proper authorization.
- Willfully encouraging others to commit any of the acts which have been herein prohibited.
- Violation of any local, state, or federal laws.
- Violation of campus or College parking regulations.
- Violation of campus and College fire regulations (for example, failure to comply with emergency evacuation procedures, tampering with fire safety apparatus, etc.).
- Theft or attempted theft of College or personal property on College premises.
- Vulgar or obscene language or an angrily raised voice which is perceived to have an intimidating effect.
- Unauthorized entry into or presence in any College building or facility.
- Violation of College policy and procedure on demonstrations. This policy and procedure is in Section 6.5.1 in the VCCS Policy Manual. A copy of the policy may be obtained from the Dean of Student Development.
- Solicitation and sales without prior approval of the Dean of Student Services.
- Violation of any rule or regulation contained within the official publications of the College or announced as administrative edict by a College official or other person authorized by the President.
Violation of one of the standards of conduct stated above may result in one or more of the following actions. (The listing of the sanctions is not intended to imply a sequential order in which they may be applied. The severity of the alleged offense will determine which of the sanctions may be applied).
An oral request to a student from an instructor or an administrator to refrain from the perceived violation of the standard of conduct. Should the perceived violation occur in a classroom or laboratory setting and should the student refuse to refrain from the conduct, the instructor may require the student to leave the classroom or laboratory and may also issue an admonition as defined below.
A written statement to a student that he/she has been perceived as having violated a standard of conduct and may be subject to more severe disciplinary action. Instructors or administrators may issue admonitions. A copy of the admonition must immediately be provided to the Dean of Student Development.
Should the instructor or administrator be unable because of the circumstances of the alleged violation to present the written statement to the student directly in person, it should be delivered to the student by certified mail or by College email with receipt. The Dean will retain the admonition in the student’s disciplinary file.
Prohibition of the student from participating in the extracurricular activities of the College, including the holding of any student office for a specified period of time, not to exceed one academic year.
Disciplinary probation may be imposed by the Dean of Student Development, who will document the probation in the student’s disciplinary file and present a statement of the probation to the student, either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail. The student may respond to the disciplinary probation, and this response must be documented and placed in the student’s disciplinary file.
Required reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property. Restitution may be imposed by the Dean of Development, and may take the form of appropriate services or other compensation.
The Dean will document the violation of the standard of conduct and the nature of the restitution and will include this documentation in the student’s disciplinary file. The Dean will inform the student of this action either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or through certified mail. The student may respond to the ordered restitution, and this response must be documented and placed in the student’s disciplinary file.
Prohibition of a student from attending class as a result of a perceived violation of a standard of conduct. Temporary suspension is to be for no longer than one-fifteenth of the scheduled class time for the semester.
Temporary suspension may be imposed by instructors or administrators, who should immediately provide written notice of the suspension to the student, either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail, with a copy to the Dean of Student Services. The Dean will retain the written notice in the student’s disciplinary file. A student who wishes to appeal the temporary suspension must meet with the Dean of Student Development within twenty-four hours of receiving notice of the suspension. The decision of the Dean will be final.
Immediate suspension of a student pending a hearing or further appeals.
Interim suspension may be imposed by the President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services or the Dean of Student Development, if that authority judges that the presence of the student may substantially interfere with the educational process, or may interfere with the rights of others on campus, or may pose a threat of harassment or danger to the Germanna faculty, staff, administrators, the student accused of violating a standard of conduct, or others on campus.
The issuing authority must inform the student in writing of the justification of the interim suspension. This written justification shall be delivered to the student directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail. The issuing authority must also provide a copy of the notice to the Dean of Student Development for inclusion in the student’s disciplinary file.
The issuing authority must provide the student with an opportunity to respond to the justification of the interim suspension. This response and the issuing authority’s decision must be provided to the Dean of Student Services in a document, whose content both parties agree represents a fair summary of the case to that point. The interim suspension will remain in effect pending the results of a hearing by a Review Committee.
Prohibition of a student from attending the College as a student for a definite period of time, not to exceed one calendar year. The President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services, or the Dean of Student Development may impose suspension.
The imposing authority will document the justification and conditions of the suspension and will provide a written copy of the documentation to the student either directly in person or by certified mail. The imposing authority will also provide this documentation to the Dean of Student Services, who will retain it in the student’s disciplinary file.
If the student appeals the suspension, a Review Committee must review the case before the suspension will take effect.
Prohibition of a student from attending the College as a student for an indefinite period of time. Conditions under which the student may be readmitted to the College will be stated in the order of dismissal.
The President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services, or the Dean of Student Development may impose dismissal. The imposing authority will document the justification and conditions of the dismissal and will provide a written copy of the documentation to the student, either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail. The imposing authority will also provide this documentation to the Dean of Student Services, who will retain the document in the student’s disciplinary file. If the student appeals the dismissal, a Review Committee must review the case before the dismissal will take effect.
Instructors are not required to provide make-up work for students who cannot attend class due to temporary suspension, interim suspension, suspension, or dismissal. However, if a student successfully appeals one of these sanctions, instructors must provide make-up options that do not penalize the student for missed work.
Review Committee and Hearing: The student has the right of appeal to a Review Committee in cases where the sanction of interim suspension, suspension, or dismissal has been applied. If the student waives his or her right of an appeal and a hearing, the Dean of Student Development will impose the sanction. The Dean will document the waiver of appeal and hearing and retain the document in the student’s disciplinary file.
Review Committee Selection:
If the student exercises the right of appeal, as provided above, the President shall appoint an impartial Review Committee.
The Committee shall include: one College administrator, two college faculty members, two students selected by the Dean of Enrollment Services. (Neither the College administrator nor either College faculty member may be the person having brought the charge of the violation of the standard of conduct).
Review Committee Procedure:
To provide an orderly procedure for handling of disciplinary cases with due process, the following steps will be used in cases referred to the Review Committee.
The Dean of Student Development shall immediately notify the student of the composition of the Committee after its formation. This notification shall be either directly in person or by certified mail. The student may object to the inclusion of any member of the Committee for cause within twenty-four hours of having received notice of its composition. The President shall consider the merits of any objection and shall change the Committee if the President judges the objections to be valid.
The President shall appoint a chairperson for the Review Committee.
Within five college business days of the final establishment of the Review Committee, the Dean of Student Development will provide to the student and to the Review Committee a written statement outlining the alleged violation of the standard of conduct with which the student is charged. The Dean will provide this statement to the student either directly in person, by College email with receipt, or by certified mail.
Within ten college business days following its receipt of the written statement from the Dean, the Review Committee shall conduct a hearing to determine what sanction, if any, should be imposed on the student.
The student has the right to consult any attorney at his or her own expense. An attorney may be present during the Review Committee hearing, but may not interrogate or address the committee or witnesses.
The student and his or her attorney may consult during the hearing, but any consultations must take place outside the hearing room and should be kept within reasonable limits, as determined by the Committee, with regard to their frequency and duration.
Witnesses may be called by either the Review Committee Chair or the student to testify, and the Committee and the student may cross-examine witnesses. The Review Committee Chair may exclude witnesses from the hearing unless those witnesses are to provide testimony or undergo cross-examination.
All parties at the hearing may examine documentary evidence. Evidence that is relevant, and not unduly repetitive, shall be admissible. Hearsay evidence that is relevant is admissible, but the Committee shall not base its decision exclusively on hearsay evidence.
A recording of the hearing will be maintained and will be made available to the student. The Dean of Student Services will retain a copy of this record in the student’s disciplinary file.
Within five business days following the conclusion of the hearing, the Review Committee shall communicate its decision in writing to the student and to the Dean of Student Development. The Review Committee Chair will communicate the decision to the student either in person or by certified mail.
Appeal of the Review Committee’s Decision:
The Review Committee’s decision may be appealed to the President in writing by the Dean of Student Services or by the student within ten business days after receipt of the written decision.
The President will review the appeal based on the Review Committee’s record and on any additional relevant and valid information that has been provided but which was not available at the time of the Review Committee’s hearing. The President will render a final decision within ten business days of receipt of the appeal. There is no further appeal beyond the President.