These frequently asked questions (FAQs) provide brief answers to many common questions of parents of Harper students
The Student Code of Conduct outlines what is expected of students, as well as the process that the campus follows if it appears a student may have violated those standards of behavior. It informs students about their procedural protections if they find themselves accused of violating the Code. There are also additional college policies found in the College Catalog.
The campus conduct process has the goals of providing education to individual students while maintaining the campus standards for behavior, so the process and the outcomes are often very different than those of the criminal or legal process. Students are determined to be "responsible" or "not responsible" for violating campus rules based on the standard of "more likely than not." Most cases are resolved through a "hearing" with the Student Conduct Officer. A hearing is a meeting where your student can review and respond to the information the College has about the incident. Your student can have an advisor (this can be you, a friend, an attorney, etc) come with him/her to any student conduct related meetings.
The campus conduct process may occur before, during, or after a criminal process for the same behavior. For example, a student may face campus conduct charges for assaulting another student on campus, and may also face charges in court. If your student has been a victim of a crime (such as theft, sexual assault, physical assault, etc), he/she is encouraged to file a police report.
There are many behaviors that may not rise to the level of a crime or violation of the law, but may still violate campus policies. Some examples include: being intoxicated on campus, disrupting a classroom, and plagiarism.
Be advised that campus conduct files may be subpoenaed, so if your student is involved in a criminal case, he/she may want to consult with an attorney during the conduct process.
The Student Conduct Officer reviews the referral to see if it appears there may have been a violation of the Code. If so, the student is notified by email and given direction as to what the next steps are. Most cases involve your student scheduling a meeting with the Student Conduct Officer to discuss what happened. In that meeting, a decision is made as to whether your student violated any College policies and, if so, what the consequences should be as a result.
For more complex cases, an investigation may be done by the Student Conduct Officer and the case may be decided by another administrator or a panel hearing board composed of one student, one staff member, and one faculty member.
In all of these cases, your student has the right to be heard and to appeal any outcomes based on the appeals procedures.
Sanctions vary from a warning to expulsion. More information is available in the Student Code of Conduct. The most common sanctions are typically warnings or probationary status and educational conversations, where the student and the Conduct Officer discuss the incident and the student explores better ways to act in the future.
Other common sanctions include: visiting another campus office to learn about resources, restriction on activities, and suspension from the campus for a designated period of time. The goals of sanctions are to help the student learn and succeed, and also to uphold the standards of the Harper campus community. In some cases, students may be prohibited from attending Harper College due to their behavior.
Student education records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). You can review the complete college policy online. Since a goal is to help your student learn from his/her behavior, the College strives to engage directly with your student to maximize the opportunities for learning and engagement.
If your student would like you to have information about a conduct case, he/she will have to provide written permission in order for the College to share specific information with you. It is preferable that you talk directly with your student and allow him/her to engage in the conduct process.