Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 3: Student Affairs

03:05:03   Disciplinary Offenses

Related Polices and Guidelines

TBR Guideline P-080 Discrimination & Harassment – Complaint & Investigation Procedure

TBR Policy Appeals to the Chancellor and the Board

TBR Policy Freedom of Speech and Expression

TBR Policy Uniform Procedures for Cases Subject to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act

TBR Policy General Policy on Student Conduct & Disciplinary Sanctions

TBR Policy Student Due Process Procedure

TBR Policy Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action

TBR Policy Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct

TBR Policy Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

TBR Policy Sexual Misconduct

TBR Rule 0240-02-03 Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions

NeSCC Policy 03:05:00 Expectations of Students and Student Code of Conduct

NeSCC Policy 03:05:04 Academic, Non-Academic, and Classroom Misconduct

NeSCC Policy 03:05:05 Disciplinary Sanctions

NeSCC Policy 03:05:06 Disciplinary Procedures

NeSCC Policy 06:43:00 Student Discipline Committee

NeSCC Policy 06:51:00 Academic Discipline Committee

  1. Disciplinary measures shall be imposed according to this policy and the institution’s restatement of this policy and applicable procedures and processes.
  2. Northeast State shall use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. A preponderance of the evidence means the greater weight of the evidence or that, according to the evidence, the conclusion sought by the party with the burden of proof is the more probable conclusion.
  3. These rules shall not be used to violate rights guaranteed under the constitution of the State of Tennessee or the constitution of the United States.
  4. Individual or organizational misconduct which is subject to disciplinary sanction shall include but not be limited to the following examples:
    1. Threatening Conduct. Any conduct, threatened conduct, or attempted conduct that poses a threat to a person’s safety, health, or personal well-being including, but not limited to, endangering the health, safety, or welfare of any person; engaging in conduct that causes a reasonable person to fear harm to his or her health, safety or welfare; or making an oral or written statement that an objectively reasonable person hearing or reading the statement would interpret as a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals;
    2. Disruptive Conduct. Any conduct, threatened conduct, or attempted conduct that is disruptive to the institution’s learning environment, including, but not limited to, engaging in any action that interferes with the ability of the instructor to teach or other students to learn. Disruptive conduct in the class setting (which includes but is not limited to remote education and off-site activities and locations) includes, but is not limited to, behavior that obstructs or disrupts the learning environment (e.g., offensive language, harassment of students or instructors, repeated outbursts from a student that disrupt the flow of instruction or prevent concentration, failure to cooperate in maintaining class decorum, etc.), text messaging, and the continued use of any electronic or other noise or light emitting device which disturbs others;
    3. Hazing, as defined in T.C.A. § 49-7-123(a) (1), means any intentional or reckless act, on or off the property, of any higher education institution by an individual acting alone, or with others, which is directed against any other person(s) that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that person(s), or which induces or coerces a person(s) to endanger such person(s) mental or physical health or safety. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or similar contests or competitions, and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization;
    4. Disorderly Conduct. Any individual or group behavior which is abusive, obscene, lewd, indecent (including, without limitation, public exposure of one’s sex organs, public urinating, and public sexual acts), violent, excessively noisy, disorderly, or which unreasonably disturbs institutional functions, operations, classrooms, other groups or individuals;
    5. Obstruction of or Interference with institutional activities or facilities. Any intentional interference with or obstruction of any Northeast State, program, event, or facility including but not limited to the following:
      1. Any unauthorized occupancy of facilities owned or controlled by Northeast State or blockage of access to or from such facilities;
      2. Interference with the right of any Northeast State member or other authorized person to gain access to any activity, program, event or facilities sponsored or controlled by an institution;,
      3. Any obstruction or delay of a security officer, public safety officer, police officer, firefighter, EMT, or any official of an institution, or failure to comply with any emergency directive issued by such person in the performance of their duty; 
      4. Participation in a demonstration that substantially impedes institutional operations; or
      5. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on property owned, leased or controlled by an institution or at an institutional activity.
    6. Misuse of or Damage to Property. Any act of misuse, vandalism, malicious or unwarranted damage or destruction, defacing, disfiguring or unauthorized use of property belonging to the institution or a member of the TBR community including, but not limited to, any personal property, fire alarms, fire equipment, elevators, telephones, institution keys, library materials and/or safety devices;
    7. Theft, Misappropriation, or Unauthorized Sale of Property;
    8. Misuse of Documents or Identification Cards. Any forgery, alteration of or unauthorized use of institutional documents, forms, records or identification cards, including the giving of any false information, or withholding of necessary information, in connection with a student’s admission, enrollment or status in the institution;
    9. Possessing, carrying, using, storing, or manufacturing any weapon on Northeast State controlled property or in connection with an institution affiliated activity, unless federal or state law provides a student with an affirmative right to possess or carry a weapon on institution controlled property or in connection with an institution-affiliated activity. (Refer to Guidance on Firearms on Campus, Exhibit #1);
    10. Explosives, Fireworks, Flammable, and Hazardous The unauthorized possession, ignition or detonation of any object or article that represents a potential danger to the Northeast State community, including, but not limited to, explosives, fireworks, flammable materials, ammunition, hazardous liquids, chemicals, or hazardous materials;
    11. Alcoholic Beverages and Alcohol-Related Conduct. The use, possession, and/or sale of alcoholic beverages on Northeast State owned or controlled property or in connection with any institutional activity unless expressly permitted by Northeast State;
    12. The unlawful possession, use, sale, or manufacture of any drug or controlled substance (including, but not limited to, any stimulant, depressant, narcotic or hallucinogenic drug, or marijuana). This offense includes using or possessing a prescription drug if the prescription was not issued to the student, as well as the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning the unlawful possession or use of drugs;
    13. Drug Paraphernalia. The use, possession, distribution, sale, or manufacture of equipment, products or materials that are used or intended for use in manufacturing, growing, using or distributing any drug or controlled substance. This offense includes the violation of any local ordinance, state, or federal law concerning the unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia;
    14. Public Intoxication. Appearing on institution owned or controlled property or at an institutional sponsored event while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or of any other intoxicating substance;
    15. Unlawful gambling in any form;
    16. Financial Irresponsibility. Failure to meet financial responsibilities to the institution promptly including, but not limited to, knowingly passing a worthless check or money order in payment to the institution;
    17. Unacceptable Conduct Related to Disciplinary Proceedings. Any conduct at any stage of an institutional disciplinary proceeding or investigation that is contemptuous, threatening, retaliatory, or disorderly, including false complaints, false testimony or other falsification of evidence, and attempts to influence the impartiality of an adjudicatory verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of an institutional official, hearing panel member, complainant, respondent or witness;

      Failure to Cooperate with Institutional Officials. Failure to comply with reasonable directions of institutional officials acting in the performance of their duties.

    18. This includes, but is not limited to, failing to respond to a request to report to an institutional administrative office, failing to cooperate in an institutional investigation, and/or failing to appear at an institutional hearing, including, without limitation, a disciplinary hearing;
    19. Attempts, Aiding and Abetting. Any attempt to commit any of the offenses listed under this section or the aiding or abetting of the commission of any of the offenses listed under this section. (An attempt to commit an offense is defined as the intention to commit the offense coupled with the taking of some action toward its commission.) Being present during the planning or commission of any offense listed under this section without having made an immediate report to the institution prior to the commission of the planned offense will be considered as aiding and abetting. Students who anticipate or observe an offense must remove themselves from the situation and are required to report the offense to the institution;
    20. Violations of State or Federal Laws. Any conviction of violation of state or federal laws, rules, or regulations prohibiting conduct or establishing offenses;
    21. Violation of Imposed Disciplinary Sanctions. Intentional or unintentional violation of a disciplinary sanction imposed through an institutional disciplinary proceeding;
    22. Sexual Misconduct. Committing any act of sexual assault, rape, sexual battery, domestic violence, or dating violence as defined by state or federal law;
    23. Harassment, Stalking, or Retaliation. Any conduct that falls within T.C.A. § 39-17-308 (Harassment) or C.A. § 39-17-315 (Stalking) or “student-on-student harassment,” which means unwelcome conduct directed toward a person that is discriminatory on a basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law, and that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively bars the victim’s access to educational opportunity or benefit. Engaging in “retaliation,” which is an act or omission committed by a student because of another person’s participation in or opposition to a protected activity that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in or opposing protected activity. Retaliation violates these standards regardless of whether the underlying allegation of a violation of policy is ultimately found to have merit. Retaliation can include, without limitation: an act or omission committed against a person’s family, friends, advisors, and or other persons reasonably expected to provide information in connection with an institutional investigation or hearing, and an act or omission committed by a student through a third party;
    24. Any conduct prohibited by any federal or state law, rule, or regulation related to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation;
    25. Academic Misconduct. Any action or attempted action designed to provide an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for oneself or others. Academic misconduct includes a wide variety of behaviors such as plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, and other academic dishonesty. For purposes of this policy the following definitions apply:
      1. Plagiarism. The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one’s own without proper attribution. Examples include but are not limited to copying of passages from works of others into one’s own work without acknowledgment; summarizing or paraphrasing ideas from another source without proper attribution, unless such information is recognized as common knowledge; and using facts, statistics graphs, representations, or phrases without proper attribution;
      2. Cheating. Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or aids in any academic exercise or test/examination. Examples include but are not limited to copying another’s work; obtaining or giving unauthorized assistance; unauthorized collaboration or collusion with another person; having another person take a test for a student; and the use of unauthorized materials or devices. The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit or hours;
      3. Fabrication. Falsifying, fabricating, or misrepresenting data, research results, citations or other information in connection with an academic assignment. Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
    26. Unauthorized Duplication or Possession of Keys. Making, causing to be made or the possession of, with the intent to use or make available for use by others, any key for an institutional facility without proper authorization;
    27. Dispersing litter in any form onto the grounds or facilities of the campus;
    28. Public display of literature, films, pictures or other materials which an average person applying contemporary community standards would find, (1) taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (2) depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and /or (3) taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value;
    29. Abuse of Computer Resources and Facilities. Misusing and/or abusing campus computer resources including, but not limited to the following:
      1. Use of another person’s identification to gain access to institutional computer resources;
      2. Use of institutional computer resources and facilities to violate copyright laws, including, but not limited to, the act of unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using institutional information technology systems;
      3. Unauthorized access to a computer or network file, including but not limited to, altering, using, reading, copying, or deleting the file;
      4. Unauthorized transfer of a computer or network file;
      5. Use of computing resources and facilities to send abusive or obscene correspondence;
      6. Use of computing resources and facilities in a manner that interferes with normal operation of the institutional computing system;
      7. Use of computing resources and facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or institutional official; and
      8. Unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing.
    30. Unauthorized Access to Institutional Facilities and/or Grounds. Any unauthorized access and/or occupancy of institutional facilities and/or grounds is prohibited, including, but not limited to, gaining access to facilities and grounds that are closed to the public, being present in areas of campus that are open to limited guests only, being present in academic buildings after hours without permission, and being present in buildings when the student has no legitimate reason to be present;
    31. Providing False Information. Giving any false information to, or withholding necessary information from, any institutional official acting in the performance of his or her duties in connection with a student’s admission, enrollment, or status in the institution;
    32. Observation Without Consent, which is prohibited by T.C.A. § 39-13-607 (a criminal statute) for purposes of this policy, means knowingly spying upon, observing, or otherwise viewing an individual, regardless of whether a photo, video, or recording is made, when the individual is in a place where there is reasonable expectation of privacy, without the prior effective consent of the individual, if the viewing would offend or embarrass an ordinary person if the person knew the person was being viewed. This includes, but is not limited to, taking video or photographic images in shower/locker rooms, living quarters, restrooms, and storing, sharing, and/or distributing of such unauthorized images by any means;
    33. Smoking Violations. Smoking or tobacco use in any institution building or facility, in any state-owned vehicle, or on any institution grounds or property, unless in a designated smoking or tobacco use area. For the purposes of these rules, “tobacco use” includes, but is not limited to, the personal use of any tobacco product, whether intended to be lit or not, which includes smoking tobacco or other substances that are lit and smoked, as well as the use of an electronic cigarette or any other device intended to simulate smoking, and the use of smokeless tobacco, including snuff; chewing tobacco; smokeless pouches; any form of loose-leaf, smokeless tobacco; and the use of unlit cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco;
    34. Maintenance of Ethical and Professional Standards. Failure to maintain the high ethical and professional standards of the various disciplines of the health professions may subject a student to suspension from a program, dismissal from a program, or other appropriate remedial action.
      1. A student enrolled in a program leading to a degree or credential in a health profession is subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension and dismissal from a program for engaging in the following acts of misconduct, regardless of location:
        1. Commission of an offense classified as a felony by Tennessee or federal criminal statutes;
        2. Unlawful use, possession, or sale of drugs or narcotics, whether or not felonious;
        3. Other unprofessional or unethical conduct that would bring disrepute and disgrace upon both the student and profession and that would tend to substantially reduce or eliminate the student’s ability to effectively practice the profession in which discipline he or she is enrolled; or
        4. Conduct that is in violation of either a relevant Tennessee statute establishing professional standards or a rule or regulation of a Tennessee regulatory board or other body responsible for the establishment and enforcement of professional standards.
      2. A person applying for admission to a health profession program may be denied admission to the program on the basis of his or her violation of the aforementioned ethical and professional standards;
    35. Traffic and Parking Fines. Receiving $100.00 or more in traffic and/or parking violations on institution property or institution-controlled property during any semester.
    36. Indecent Exposure. Indecent Exposure, which is prohibited by T.C.A. § 39-13-511 (a criminal statute), for purposes of this policy means in a public place intentionally exposing one’s genitals or buttocks to another or engaging in sexual contact or sexual penetration where the person reasonably expects that the acts will be viewed by another, and the acts will offend an ordinary viewer or are for the purpose of sexual arousal and/or gratification.

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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Institutional Excellence and Student Success

Revision History: Adoption April 2014; Revision June 2015; March 2018; Edited Dec. 2019; Edited July 2021