Harper College

Staff FAQs

If you have another question that is not answered here, please email the Student Conduct Officer.

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. While campus offices should determine specific parameters for behavior in their unique offices, there are general behavioral guidelines that apply across disciplines and activities at Harper, and extend beyond the walls of any specific office. By applying to Harper College, all students agree through the online admissions process to uphold these standards; however, it is helpful if you can include information on your website, posted in the office, or on common office forms that reiterate these standards.

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 he/she may also face charges in court. 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 process, whose goal is justice. If you are a victim of a crime, you may choose to pursue both processes.

The Harper College Police or other 911 responders can respond to immediate emergencies. This includes:

  • If you feel physically threatened due to a weapon, direct threat of physical violence, etc.
  • If any person is in physical danger - this can include if someone passes out
  • If a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the point he/she cannot care for oneself
  • To report a crime

Harper Police can also provide escort service for you if you feel concerned for your safety when walking from/to your vehicle. They can also provide support if you are going to confront a student about his/her behavior and you have a reason to fear for your physical safety.

You can submit a report any time of day, and from any computer where you have an internet connection. You do not need to log into the Employee Portal in order to submit a report. Reports are reviewed during regular College business hours.

When you submit the information, please be detailed and objective. Describe the incident with as many relevant details as you can. Avoid making judgments or assumptions about the student. Remember that the student may be able to read your complaint form. (You should go ahead and include witness information and your on-campus contact information. Any personal contact information and possibly witness names will be redacted from the report as appropriate.)

For more information about writing quality referrals, review the Tips for Documenting Incidents. You may wish to consult with your supervisor prior to filing a complaint, but be cautious of the time-sensitive nature of many of the situations.

Threats of possible violence are routed to the Harper Early Alert Team (HEAT) for their review and action. If it appears a student may have violated college policy, the student conduct process and/or a campus investigation can be initiated.

If the student conduct process is initiated, the student is sent an email notifying them of the nature of the complaint. For complex cases, an investigation may occur and then a hearing may occur through a panel or a hearing officer. Most cases are heard by the Student Conduct Officer. You may be asked for more information as part of the hearing or investigation.

If the report leads to a student conduct investigation, the student would be able to know your name as the referring party. Please be aware that the College does not tolerate retaliation of any form, and if you have any concerns for your physical safety you are encouraged to communicate those to the Student Conduct officer.

A person may or may not necessarily know that you referred him/her to the Harper Early Alert Team, depending on the circumstances. Certainly if you are scared or feel threatened, you should refer the individual and request that your identity be kept as private as possible. Some information may be subject to FOIA, so there is a chance that the person could learn that you referred him/her to the HEAT.

It is helpful if you can talk with the student to see if he/she would benefit from a campus or community resource. Good questions to ask include, "Is there anyone on campus that you trust?" or "Are you connected with an advisor/counselor?" If not, there are a variety of campus resources available, including:

Ideally, you can help connect a student to one of these resources by informing him/her about them or even walking him/her over to the office.

If you are unsure of how to best approach this, feel free to review Having Difficult Conversations or call one of these offices or the Student Conduct Officer for assistance in how to approach having this conversation. Given that you are the one that likely has a relationship or rapport with the student, it helps the student feel their privacy is respected if you have the conversation with him/her but you can get support for how to approach it.

While there is no law or rule against being creepy or odd, you are also not expected to ignore your own feelings. It helps to pause and think about the behaviors that are evoking the reaction in you, not just the personality of the student. Depending on the situation, you can always report it to Student Conduct, HEAT, or the police. Sometimes a person has already been referred and your information might help complete an understanding of the person's current state of mind. While there is not a hard rule about when to report "creepy" behaviors, it is always better to err on the side of caution. If it is a student who often visits your office, it helps to have already built a relationship so that you can better understand the individual and assess if the behaviors are new/unusual, or if they are just part of someone's personality. You are always welcome to call Student Conduct or contact HEAT and consult with someone if you are not sure what to do.

Sanctions vary from a warning to expulsion. More information is available in the Student Code of Conduct. The most common sanctions are typically warnings and educational conversations, where the student and the Student Conduct Officer discuss the incident and the student explores better ways to act in the future. Other sanctions include: visiting another campus office to learn about resources, probationary status, 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.

Last Updated: 12/14/23