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I-21: Policy on Student Conduct

Policy Number: I-21
Last Reviewed: February 18, 2013
Responsible Dept.: Dean of Student Services

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Virginia Western Community College holds certain expectations of students to share the responsibility of maintaining a safe, secure, and honest academic environment.

By applying for admission to the College, each student agrees to abide by the policies and procedures governing student conduct. The statement below outlines the rights each student has as a member of the college community as well as the responsibilities each student has to continue within that community.

Each student has the privilege of exercising his or her rights without fear of prejudice provided he/she respects the laws of the Commonwealth, the policies of Virginia Western and the rights of others on campus. Such rights include the following:

  • Students are free to pursue their educational goals. Appropriate opportunities for learning in the classroom and on campus are provided through the curricula offered by the college.
  • No disciplinary sanctions may be imposed without due process, except as provided in the Student Conduct Policy below.
  • Students have the right to freedom of expression, inquiry, and assembly provided actions do not interfere with the rights of others or the effective operation of the college.
  • Academic evaluation of student performance shall be fair, not arbitrary or inconsistent.

Each student, as a responsible adult, shall maintain standards of conduct appropriate to membership in the college community. Such responsibilities include the following:

  • Each student has the responsibility to demonstrate respect for his or herself as well as faculty, staff and other students.
  • Each student has the responsibility to know, understand, and abide by the regulations and policies of the college.
  • Each student has the responsibility to pay all fines and debts to the college.
  • Each student has the responsibility to maintain academic integrity and abide by the academic honesty policy of the college.
  • Each student has the responsibility to support the mission of the college to create an environment where all students have the same opportunity to succeed academically and personally and to promote health and safety.

Student Conduct

Disorderly conduct threatens a productive academic environment and will not be tolerated. Disciplinary action by the College shall be limited to conduct that adversely affects the college community’s pursuit of its educational objectives.


Violations of the following list of conduct violations, which is not all-inclusive, are subject to disciplinary action.

  1. Threat to Health or Safety: When the student’s continued presence at the college is deemed to constitute a threat to the health, safety or welfare of members of the campus community.
  2. Bomb Threat, Fire Alarm, Hoax:When the student activates a fire or lockdown alarm without cause, or makes a threat to bomb or damage college property, students, faculty, staff, or visitors; or undertakes a hoax involving use of a supposedly destructive device or substance; encourages, incites, or solicits any person to commit such a threat or such an act; or makes a false statement, claim or similar action against the college, its employees, students, contractors and/or guests causing emergency response measures to be implemented.
  3. Weapons: Weapons are not allowed on campus except as prescribed by state policy. For details, please see the Campus and Workplace Violence Prevention Policy in the Student Handbook.
  4. Theft:When the student engages in theft, larceny, embezzlement, or the temporary taking of the property of another without consent.
  5. Riot:When the student incites or engages in a riot or a disorderly assembly.
  6. Drugs:When the student engages in the possession, use, sale or manufacture of illegal or controlled substances.
  7. Forgery:When the student forges, alters, or misuses college documents or records, to include student identification cards, or tampers with student registration data.
  8. Computer Security:When the student makes unauthorized use of computer resources, or makes unauthorized efforts to penetrate or modify any computing hardware or software.
  9. Disruption: Disruption of a classroom, laboratory, library, office, hallway, or public space, such as the student center, campus commons, auditorium, meetings or hearings.
  10. Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with a college official appropriately acting in the performance of his or her duties.
  11. Verbal Abuse:When the student utters obscene words or engages in verbal abuse that constitutes harassment of others.
  12. Assault, Battery, Fighting:When the student engages in assault, battery, or fighting.
  13. Harassment:When the student engages in psychological abuse, racial, sexual or other harassment.
  14. Property Destruction:When the student destroys, damages, defaces, or misuses public or private property.
  15. Illegal Entry:When the student illegally enters or occupies state property.
  16. Gambling: When the student engages in unlawful gambling or gaming.
  17. Alcoholic Beverages: When the student possesses or consumes alcoholic beverages or is legally intoxicated.
  18. Criminal Charges: When the student is formally charged with the commission of a crime, felony or misdemeanor, that is deemed to have an adverse impact on the college community’s pursuit of its educational objectives.
  19. Misuse of Federal Funds: When the student uses federal funds for someone other than him/herself or uses funds in a way that does not support his/her own educational endeavors.
  20. Electronic Bullying: When a student uses Facebook, or any other type of social media, to intimidate or bully a student, faculty or staff member.
  21. Impersonation or Assuming a False Identity: When a student impersonates a college employee or falsely identifies him/herself.


Student Misconduct charges may result in the following sanctions:

  • Warning: Notice, in writing, that continuation or repetition of conduct found wrongful, within a period of time stated in the warning, may cause more severe disciplinary action;
  • Disciplinary Probation: Suspension of eligibility for college extracurricular activities;
  • Suspension: Exclusion from classes and other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice for a definite period of time not to exceed two years; or
  • Expulsion: Terminiation of student status for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if any, shall be stated in the order of expulsion.

Academic Dishonesty

Violations of the following list of academic dishonesty actions, which is not all-inclusive, are subject to disciplinary action.

  1. Cheating on an examination or quiz — either giving or receiving information
  2. Copying information from another person for graded assignments
  3. Using unauthorized materials during tests
  4. Collaboration during examinations
  5. Buying, selling, providing or stealing papers, examinations, or other work to be submitted for a class
  6. Substituting for another person, or arranging such a substitution for yourself
  7. Plagiarism—the intentional or accidental presentation of another’s words or ideas as your own.    Students should familiarize themselves with the description of plagiarism found in their English handbooks, their English class syllabi, or in writing manuals available in the library. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism is not a defense for such a serious infraction.
  8. Submission of work other than one’s own for written assignments
  9. Collusion with another person or persons in submitting work for credit in class or lab, unless such collaboration is approved in advance by the instructor
  10. Falsifying documentation
  11. Multiple Submissions—It is a violation of academic honesty to submit substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without the explicit consent of the instructor to whom the material is being submitted


The first charge of academic dishonesty may result in the following sanctions:

  • Require the work to be accomplished again
  • Award a grade of zero (0) for the test, paper, or exercise
  • Assign a grade of F for the course

The second charge of academic dishonesty may result in the following sanctions:

  • Require the work to be accomplished again
  • Award a grade of zero (0) for the test, paper, or exercise
  • Assign a grade of F for the course
  • Suspension from the college
  • Expulsion

The third charge of academic dishonesty may result in the following sanctions:

  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

The procedures related to Student Misconduct and Academic Dishonesty Violations are outlined in the Student Handbook.


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