Office of Civility

Code of Conduct

Behavior Standards

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/patron’s conduct disrupts or threatens to disrupt the college community, appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken to restore and protect the well-being of the college community. Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with generally accepted standards of scholarship and morality. Community patrons are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the accepted standards of good citizenship in the state of North Carolina. The purpose of this code is not to restrict student or patrons rights, but to protect the rights of individuals in their academic pursuits on the campus.

1. Academic Integrity

1a. Academic Dishonesty

The College prohibits taking or acquiring possession of any academic material (test information, research papers, notes, etc.) from a member of the college faculty/staff or another student without permission; receiving or giving help during tests; submitting papers or reports presented as the student’s original work that are not entirely the student’s own (plagiarism); or not giving credit for others’ work. Student use of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) to complete coursework without the express permission of the faculty member is prohibited.

1b. Plagiarism

A student presenting work as original that is not entirely the student’s own work; not giving credit for others’ work; self-plagiarizing by use of one’s own previous work in another context without indicating that it was previously used.

2. Behavior

2a. Indecent Conduct

The College prohibits disorderly, lewd, or indecent conduct, including public physical or verbal action; language commonly considered offensive (not limited to, but including profanity); or distribution of obscene or libelous written or electronic material.

2b. Violence

The College prohibits mental, psychological or physical abuse of any person (including sex offenses) on college premises or at college-sponsored or college-supervised functions, including verbal or physical actions that threaten or endanger the health or safety of any such persons or which promote hatred or prejudice. This includes fighting and or other disruptive behaviors, which includes any action or threat of action which endangers the peace, safety or orderly function of the College, its facilities or persons engaged in the business of the College.

2c. Harassment

The College prohibits any act, comment, behavior, or clothing which is of a sexually suggestive, harassing, offensive, or intimidating nature. The College prohibits stalking, or behavior which in any way interferes with another student’s rights or an employee’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. (This includes the display of or navigation to pornography or other inappropriate websites and materials.)

2d. Disruption

The College prohibits intentional obstruction or interruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other college activities, including public service functions, and other duly authorized activities on college premises or at college-sponsored activity sites.

If, in the opinion of college officials, clothing or behaviors (including gang colors, signs or symbols) are threatening, intimidating or offensive in nature, sanctions may be imposed immediately.

2e. Failure to Comply

Refusal to adapt one’s behavior to instructions of college officials is prohibited.

3. Use of College Property

3a. Purposeful Use of Campus Facilities

The College prohibits loitering without educational purpose or goal; therefore, individuals must be engaged in purposeful acts on campus which meet educational goals or in appropriate recreational and extracurricular activities.

3b. Use by Unattended Minors

The College prohibits minors under the age of sixteen (16) from being on the campus unattended. Minors are not allowed in classrooms, labs, shops, learning resource center or other instructional areas without college authorization. Parents and guardians whether enrolled in college or as a community patron, must remain with the minor child at all times. Violators will be asked to leave the premises. Early College students are exempt from this requirement.

3c. Theft and Damage

The College prohibits theft of, misuse of, or harm 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 a college function.

3d. Occupation and Seizure

The College prohibits 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.

3e. Presence on College Premises

The College prohibits unauthorized entry upon the college premises; unauthorized entry into a college facility or a portion thereof which has been restricted in use; unauthorized presence in a college facility after closing hours;  or furnishing false information to gain entry on the college premises or into a college facility.

3f. Assembly

The College prohibits participation in or conducting an informal or formal unauthorized gathering in a manner that threatens or causes injury to persons or property or that interferes with free access to, ingress or egress of college facilities, that is harmful, obstructive, or disruptive to the educational process or institutional functions of the College; or remaining at the scene of such an assembly after being asked to leave by a college official.

3g. Fire Alarms

The College prohibits setting off a fire alarm or using or tampering with any fire safety equipment on college premises or at college-sponsored activity sites, except with reasonable belief in the need for such alarm or equipment. In the event of a fire alarm sounding, students MUST evacuate the building unless otherwise directed by the college official.

3h. Emergency Phones

The College prohibits the misuse of the emergency phones in college hallways in making false reports of emergencies, disturbances, physical injury or illness of students, employees or college visitors requiring attention of campus security or off-campus emergency personnel. Students activating the emergency phone are required to give their full-name, nature of the emergency, exact location of the emergency and stay “on the line” with the college official until released. Exception: If the individual activating the emergency phone believes they are in imminent danger from another person, they should provide as much information as possible before leaving the phone in the connected position.

4. Drugs, Alcohol and Other Substances

4a. Drugs and Alcohol

Substances referred to under this policy include all illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, and misused legal drugs (both prescription and over the counter). The College prohibits possession or use of alcoholic beverages on college premises or at college-sponsored or supervised functions (including off-campus functions) unless otherwise permitted by a college administrator. The College prohibits being in a state of intoxication on college premises or at college-sponsored or supervised functions (including off-campus functions) or in a college-owned vehicle. The College prohibits possession, use, sale or distribution of any controlled substance, illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia except as expressly permitted by law. Any influence which may be attributed to the use of drugs or of alcoholic beverages shall not be in any way limit the responsibility of the individual for the conduct or consequences of his/her actions.

4b. Tobacco and Food

The College prohibits eating and/or drinking in classrooms, shops, and labs or other unauthorized areas, unless otherwise permitted by college officials.

Use of tobacco is prohibited by students, staff, faculty and visitors. For the purposes of this procedure, tobacco is defined as any type of tobacco product including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs, smokeless or spit tobacco or snuff. Electronic devices that simulate smoking and that emit a vapor, including electronic cigarettes, cigars, and pipes are prohibited. The College prohibits use of tobacco products on campus in college owned vehicles or in properties rented for the purpose of college use.

The sale or free distribution of tobacco products, including merchandise, on campus or at college-sponsored events is prohibited. The College prohibits use of tobacco products on campus in College owned vehicles or in properties rented for the purpose of college use.

5. Weapons

The College prohibits possession, storage, use or threat of use of firearms, weapons, ammunition, incendiary devices or explosives on College Premises or in personal vehicles parked on college premises or at college-sponsored activity sites. This also includes unauthorized use of any instrument capable of inflicting serious bodily injury to any person. Possession or use of firearms or other weapons on College premises for instructional purposes must have the prior approval of the Vice President of Academic Programs.

North Carolina General Statute 14-269.22 makes it unlawful for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol or any other weapon of like kind as defined by the statute. That statute overrides the North Carolina concealed weapons act. Violation of this regulation will result in immediate and permanent expulsion, exclusion from college premises and arrest.

6. Use of Technology

6a. Damage and Destruction

Destruction of or harm to equipment, software, or data belonging to the College or to others is considered unacceptable usage and is subject to disciplinary action. This may include altering, downloading, or installing software on college computers, tampering with computer hardware or software configuration, improper access to the College’s network, and disconnection of college computers or devices. Refer to the College Internet and Network Services Policy.

6b. Electronic Devices

Unless otherwise permitted by college officials, the College prohibits use of electronic devices in classrooms, labs and other instructional, event, or support facilities. Such devices include, but are not limited to cell phones, texting devices, beepers, walkie talkies, cameras, iPods, MP3 players or other electronic devices which may cause unnecessary disruption to the teaching/learning process. All electronic devices must be turned off in the classroom, labs or other instructional support areas. Cameras, camera phones or other visual recording devices may not be used in restrooms, locker rooms, changing facilities or other areas where personal privacy is a reasonable expectation.

7. Gambling and Gaming

The College prohibits gambling in any format on the campus. Rowan-Cabarrus also prohibits competitive, unstructured competitive gaming which fosters disruptive behavior. This includes participating on college premises or at college-sponsored activity sites in an activity where making a set wager or playing for money or material is involved.

8. Forgery

The College prohibits forgery, alteration, duplication, or misuse of college documents, records, computers or instruments of identification with intent to deceive.

9. Financial Irresponsibility

The College prohibits failure to pay college-levied charges, fees or fines, failure to repay college-funded loans, the passing of worthless checks to college officials or any fraudulent action when transacting business with the College or third-party agent contracted by the College to provide services for students (i.e. bookstore, food service, e-cashiering).

10. Disciplinary Probation

The College prohibits violation of the terms of disciplinary probation during the period of probation. Additional violations of any college regulation during the probationary period will result in immediate review for additional sanctions.

11. Violation of Rowan-Cabarrus Policy, Rule or Regulation

The College prohibits violation of any Rowan-Cabarrus policy, rule or regulation published in hard copy or available electronically on the Rowan-Cabarrus website.

12. Violation of Law

The College prohibits violation of any federal, state or local law.

Disciplinary Actions & Sanctions

Violation of the Campus Code of Conduct, or of Rowan-Cabarrus policies, or of North Carolina and federal laws while on campus or while off campus when participating in activities sponsored by Rowan-Cabarrus, subjects violators to appropriate sanctions. Charges that a student has violated behavior standards will be investigated by the Executive Director of the Office of Civility (or designee) to determine whether the charges are significant or whether they may be dropped or informally resolved. Charges that a student has violated an academic standard will be investigated by the appropriate Academic Dean to determine if the charges are significant, whether the charges will be dropped or informally resolved. Charges that a community patron has violated the Campus Code of Conduct will be investigated by the Executive Director of the Office of Civility; the Chief Officer, College Environment; or the Director of Campus and Public Safety to determine if the charges are significant, inform the patron and appropriate administrative unit of any restrictions imposed and notify campus security of any additional action to be taken.

Procedures For Disciplinary Actions

This section describes the College disciplinary procedures in response to violations of the Campus Code of Conduct. The Executive Director of the Office of Civility (or designee) responsible for implementing student disciplinary procedures under the Chief Officer, College Environment.

A. Disposition of Disciplinary Cases: The following section outlines the procedure for handling student disciplinary cases in accordance with due process and justice.

1. Charges: Any member of the College community may file charges with the Executive Director of the Office of Civility (or Dean in the case of Academic Integrity) against any student for violation of the College regulations. The individual(s) making the charge must complete a charge form stating:

  1. The name(s) of the student(s) involved
  2. The alleged provision of the Campus Code of Conduct, college regulation, state or federal law that has been violated.
  3. The date, time and location of the incident
  4. The names of students or staff directly involved or who witnessed the infractions, and
  5. The actions taken by the complainant related to the incident.
  6. The desired solution(s).

The completed charge form (written or electronic) with the printed name and signature of the person filing the charge should be forwarded directly to the Executive Director of the Office of Civility (or Dean).

2. Investigation and Decision: Within five (5) business days after the charge is filed, the Executive Director of the Office of Civility (or Dean) shall complete a preliminary investigation of the charge, and the schedule a meeting with the student(s) alleged to be in violation. After meeting with the student(s) to review the alleged infraction(s) one of the following actions will be taken:

  1. Drop the charge(s)
  2. Impose a sanction consistent with those listed below
  3. Refer the student(s) to a College Office or community agency for services

3. Notifications: The decision of the Executive Director of the Office of Civility (or Dean) shall be presented to the student in writing or mailed within five (5) business days. In instances where the student cannot be reached to schedule an appointment or where the student refuses to cooperate, the Executive Director of the Office of Civility (or Dean) shall send a certified letter to the student’s last known address providing the student with a list of charges, the decision, and instructions governing the appeals process.

B. Immediate Interim Suspension is a procedure which can be invoked by any college official for any student who has been involved in conduct that threatens the health or well being of any member of the college community or disrupts the function or good order of the College or college premises. The college official must advise the student that failure to cease and desist will result in immediate interim suspension. If the student fails to cease and desist, the college official may invoke the interim suspension until disciplinary proceedings are completed. College officials may contact college security officers to have the student removed from campus.

Once interim suspension has been invoked by a college official, a written report must be filed with the Executive Director of the Office of Civility. The report must detail the individual(s) involved and the nature of the infraction with supporting information including other students or employees who observed the incident. The report must be filed immediately, but not more than two (2) working days after the incident. Incidents in the classroom should be reported to the program head and dean of the division by the instructor involved.

The Executive Director of the Office of Civility, will notify the student in writing of the interim suspension and the reasons for the suspension. The notice will include a description of disciplinary procedures including the time, date and location of any subsequent hearing. The procedural timeline outlined in a subsequent section will be followed by the College to resolve the pending matter.

Interim suspension may result in continued exclusion (beyond the incident date) from class and or other privileges including presence on college property or college-sponsored activities until a final decision has been made concerning the alleged conduct violation.

Disciplinary Sanctions

  1. Verbal Warning (reprimand): A verbal communication given to the student/patron by a college agent to cease a behavior or action deemed inappropriate or possibly a violation of the Campus Code of Conduct. The issuing college official should document the issuing of a verbal warning, including the incident and the student/patron name.
  2. Written Warning (reprimand): A written communication which gives official notice to the student/patron regarding the offense noted and that any subsequent offense of the Campus Code of Conduct will carry heavier penalties because of the prior infraction.
  3. Interim Suspension: Exclusion from class or other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice, until a final decision has been made concerning the alleged violation.
  4. General Probation: A minor disciplinary offense may result in this penalty which allows the student to show the willingness and capacity to observe the Campus Code of Conduct without further penalty. IF a second penalty occurs during the probationary period further action can be taken. The probationary period can be in effect for no more than 2 academic terms.
  5. Restrictive Probation: A major disciplinary offense or series of violations may result in a loss of good standing and a matter of official record (transcript notation) denoted by this sanction. Restrictive probation limits the student’s/patron’s activity on the campus and within the college community. The student cannot be initiated into any local or national organization, receive any college award or recognitions, occupy a position of leadership or travel with any college student organization. Further, the College may restrict the student’s/patron’s access to campus or use of campus services and facilities. Restrictive probation is for a period of not less than 2 academic terms. Any violation of Restrictive Probation orders may result in immediate suspension.
  6. Restitution: Paying for damage, misuse, destruction, or loss of property belonging to the College, college personnel, student, or contract agent for the college.
  7. Loss of Academic Credit or Grade: Imposed as result of academic dishonesty.
  8. Withholding grade reports, diplomas, right to register or participate in graduation ceremonies: Imposed when financial obligations are not met.
  9. Suspension: Exclusion from class(es) or all other privileges or activities of the College for a specified period of time. Reserved for offenses which warrant discipline more severe than probation or for repeated misconduct. Students receive this sanction must get specific written permission from the Executive Director of the Office of Civility, or Chief Officer, College Environment, before returning to campus. Notification of suspension may be recorded on the student’s official transcript of suspension period.
  10. Expulsion: Dismissing a student/patron from campus for an indefinite period. Loss of student/patron status means that the individual will not be permitted on the College property, may not register for any course (basic skills, curriculum, continuing education, occupational or corporate) and may not participate as a citizen in any college sponsored event. The individual may be readmitted to the College only with the approval of the Chief Officer, College Environment, Vice President of Academic Programs, or the College President. Notification of expulsion may be recorded on the student’s official transcript for the expulsion period.

Appeal of Disciplinary Sanctions

The disciplinary decision of the Executive Director of the Office of Civility, or Academic Dean must be presented to the student in writing within five (5) working days after the charge is investigated. If a disciplinary sanction is imposed, the student may appeal the decision as follows:

  1. The student must submit the appeal in writing within five (5) working days to the Executive Director of the Office of Civility. The appeal must include the student’s reason for appeal, mitigating circumstances or evidence which needs to be considered. The Chief Officer, College Environment (or designee) and respective Dean will render a decision and will notify the student of the decision within five (5) working days of receipt of the appeal.
  2. Further appeals of disciplinary sanctions must be made in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the Executive Director’s decision. Appeals are made to the Student Appeals Committee through the Director of Student Advocacy Services. The Student Appeals Committee consists of 2 faculty, 2 staff and 1 student who render a decision based on the written appeal submitted.
  3. The decision of the Student Appeals Committee will be submitted in writing to the student within five (5) days. The decision of the Student Appeals Committee is final except in the case of expulsion.
  4. Final appeal regarding expulsion may be issued to the President within five (5) working days of receipt of the Student Appeals Committee decision to support the disciplinary sanction of expulsion. The President may solicit evidence and information regarding the student case, appeal proceedings, recommendations of the Student Appeals Committee and take any other steps deemed appropriate before rendering a decision as soon as possible but not more than ten (10) days from the date received. In the event that a suspension or expulsion is issued, campus security will be notified.

Appeal of Financial Obligations to the College

Students who want to appeal disciplinary action related to violation of financial indebtedness to the college must do so through the Associate Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Business Services until the matter is submitted to local and state legal authorities.