At Rowan College at Burlington County, students are expected to be responsible members of the college community, respect their fellow students and employees at the institution, and ​abide by the guidelines set forth in the college's Code of Conduct. Issues concerning student misconduct are addressed in a fair and impartial process designed to educate students on the implications of their behavior on their future college and career goals. 

Students are held to the current procedures in place at the time of registration. ​The sections below include important information on the RCBC Code of Conduct, including violations, hearing process, sanctions and appeals.

Purpose and Overview of Procedure

The Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) Student Conduct Policy is created to ensure that all students have a safe and secure environment in which to learn while ensuring that the rights of the individual, the community, and the college are all protected. Fundamental to the Code is the philosophy that all RCBC students are considered to be adults in the eyes of the college and are expected to conduct themselves accordingly. All students, including those involved in Distance Learning and on site partner courses, are ultimately responsible for their own conduct as well as the conduct of their guests and visitors.

The following Code defines prohibited conduct and range of sanctions for those students whose acts determined to be in violation of its standards of conduct.  The determination of a student’s responsibility for prohibited conduct is completed through a thorough investigatory and hearing process, affording both prompt disciplinary determinations and appropriate due process to the alleged violator.  

Regardless of whether an individual is on or off campus, RCBC students are members of the college community and are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct standards at all times. The college reserves the right to use the policies and procedures outlined in this Handbook to address behavior on and off campus.

Rowan College at Burlington County cooperates with all local, state and federal law enforcement when addressing reported incidents involving RCBC students.  Students may be accountable to both civil authorities and the college for acts which constitute violations of law as well as violations of this Code. In such event, college disciplinary actions will proceed notwithstanding any pending action for local state or federal agencies.Similarly, dismissal or acquittal of such concurrent legal proceedings will not necessarily result in dismissal of college disciplinary actions.

The Code of Conduct is intended to provide students with guidance on expected conduct and to ensure that they are informed of their rights and the steps that the college  will take to address reported behavioral concerns. These standards are not absolute and as such, the college may address other behaviors not expressly outlined in this Code if it determines that it is in the best interest of the community to do so.  Furthermore, the college reserves the right to change and/or add to the policies, procedures, and programs described in the Student Handbook and/or the Code of Conduct as necessary and will make reasonable efforts to inform students of such changes and/or additions as reasonably feasible.

Definitions

The following definitions refer to the Rowan College at Burlington County conduct review procedures and processes only:

  • The term “College” refers to Rowan College at Burlington County;
  • The term “College official” includes any person employed by the college or an outsourced auxiliary service who performs assigned administrative or professional responsibilities, including conducting classroom activities;
  • The term “conduct review body” refers to any person or persons, or the Code of Conduct Committee, authorized to determine whether a student has violated the Code of Conduct and to recommend imposition of sanctions; exercise disciplinary action following a proper hearing. The college will exercise this right in cases where its reputation or orderly functions as an academic community are involved;
  • The term “complainant” refers to the individual filing a complaint or making an allegation of a violation of the student Code of Conduct.  In instances where there is no direct complainant, the college serves in that role.
  • The term “respondent” refers to the individual alleged to have violated a policy and/or involved in the reported misconduct.
  • The term “College policy” is defined as the written regulations of the college as found in, but not limited to, the Student Handbook, and the College Catalog and published online;
  • The term “investigation” refers to any fact-finding process implemented by the college in order to gather any and all relevant information needed to determine the extent to which a violation of the Student Code of Conduct may have occurred.  An investigation may be conducted before formal charges are issued in order to determine if sufficient information exists to warrant said charges.
Student Code of Conduct

In addition to the various other policies listed throughout this Handbook and in various other electronic and printed material across the college , the following acts when committed by students of Rowan College at Burlington County shall be deemed misconduct subject to imposition of discipline under the procedures outlined in this Handbook.

  1. Physical or Psychological Harm: Conduct which threatens the physical or psychological health and/or safety of any person, including the person committing the act, or the sanctity of the campus, including but not limited to physical and/or sexual assault or any violation of New Jersey Statute Title 2C.

    1. Dating Violence: violence, whether physical, sexual, or the threat thereof, committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.
    2. Domestic Violence: a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner, a cohabitating partner, or another person with whom the victim shares a child and/or as defined by the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.
    3. Sexual Harassment: Conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive campus, educational or working environment for another person. This includes, but is not limited to,  unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, inappropriate sexual or gender-based activities, comments or gestures, touching, gratifying, or exposing of one’s private parts in public, or other forms of verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment, including lewdness as defined by N.J.S.A 2C:14-4.
    4. Fondling: touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or without that person’s consent.
    5. Sexual Assault/Rape: an offense that meets the definition of rape, sexual assault with an object, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s UCR program and/or sexual assault as defined by New Jersey law.
    6. Stalking: any act, whether via phone, internet, or physical proximity, that, through unwanted and/or unsolicited viewing or communicating threatens an individual’s physical or emotional safety.
    7. Physical Attack: causing physical or psychological harm to any person on college property or at college sponsored activities, or recklessly causing reasonable apprehension of such harm.
    8. Harassment: any act, whether written or verbal, via online or in person, that abuses, intimidates, or threatens the safety of a member of the campus community or as additionally defined by N.J.S.A. 2C: 33-4 (harassment) and N.J.S.A. 2C: 33-41(Cyber-Harassment)
    9. Invasion of privacy, observation of sexual contact, reproduction or disclosure of images of sexual contact or undergarment-clad intimate parts of another person.
    10. Failure to maintain personal health and hygiene.
    11. Threat of harm to self or others, whether by words, actions, online posts, observable actions and/or behaviors, and/or reliable, third party observations
    12. Use or possession of fireworks, firearms or other weapons as defined by N.J.S.A 2C: 39-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C: 11-1.
  2. Disorderly Conduct: Conduct which may breach the peace of the college, on or off campus,  and/or obstruct the daily activity of the campus including instruction and business operations.

    1. Obscene or indecent behavior, which includes, but is not limited to, indecent exposure or the display of sexual behavior that would reasonably be offensive to others.
    2. Interfering with normal college or college sponsored activities, including, but not limited to, studying, teaching, research, extracurricular activities, job placement activities, college administration, or fire, police or emergency services.
    3. Misusing or damaging college  equipment and/or property.
    4. Interfering with the freedom of expression of others on college property or at college sponsored activities.
    5. Destroying or damaging the property of others on college property or at college sponsored activities.
    6. Littering on campus or at a college sponsored activity
    7. Failure to comply with the directions of college officials, including campus Public Safety officers, acting in performance of their duties.
    8. Smoking on campus, in any form, in violation of the smoking prohibition policy
    9. Bringing unauthorized pets or animals to campus without following procedures for therapy, service or support animals.
    10. Unauthorized presence in or use of college premises, facilities or property.
    11. Violating the terms of any disciplinary sanction imposed in accordance with this code.
    12. Violation of college regulations or policies, including but not limited to the Civility Policy, as published on the college’s website, Student Handbook, and/or college catalog, as approved and compiled by the Board of Trustees, President, or their designates
    13. Violation of statutes, laws, ordinances, and/or regulations of Burlington County, State of NJ (or other states, when applicable) and the United States of America, including but not limited not all sections of N.J.S.A 2C.
  1. Dishonesty: Non-academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, theft, attempted theft, possession of stolen property, forgery, and falsification of information provided to a college or civil official, as well as academic dishonesty including cheating, plagiarism, etc.

    1. Initiating or causing to be initiated any false accusation, false report, defamation of character, warning or threat of fire, explosion or other emergency on college property or at college sponsored activities.
    2. Furnishing false information to the college.
    3. All forms of academic dishonesty, including cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, facilitating academic dishonesty, and/ or knowledge of academic dishonesty without reporting. 
    4. Forgery, unauthorized alteration, or unauthorized use of any college document or instrument of identification.
    5. Theft of property, theft of property mislaid, or theft of services on college property or at college sponsored activities; possession of stolen property on college premises or at college sponsored activities.
  1. Substance Use or Abuse: Possession, use, and / or distribution of any substance constituting a “controlled dangerous substance” within the meaning of the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substance Act, or any illegal drug, on college property or at college sponsored activities.

    1. Distribution or attempted distribution of alcohol to any person.
    2. Distribution or attempted distribution of a drug, including prescription medication.
    3. Illegal use or possession of a drug, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
    4. Possession or use of another student’s drugs and/or drug paraphernalia.
    5. Impairment due to the use of drugs or alcohol
Conduct Review Process

Reporting
Under federal guidelines, individuals are identified as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) under the Clery Act and Responsible Persons under Title IX.  These individuals are required to report any crime immediately to the Public Safety Department by dialing (856) 434-SAFE (7233). Additionally, all other College employees and students are strongly encouraged to report all alleged misconduct and/or crimes to the Public Safety Department.

Students may  also report misconduct or alleged misconduct against another student to the Office of the Dean of Students Success. The individual staff and students involved in reporting conversations are also considered CSA’s.  Reports filed through the Dean of Student Success Office will follow standard investigation procedures in coordination with Public Safety.

Individuals who may have been the victim of a sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or other incident of sexual violence may also make a report to the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Cathy Briggs, Dean of Student Success (cbriggs@rcbc.edu, 856-242-5391).

Investigation of Incidents
When an incident is reported to the College, an investigation may be conducted to determine if a potential violation of the Code of Conduct or a violation of statutes, laws or ordinances occurred.  Following the investigation, the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee) will review the investigation outcomes to determine whether there is enough information to warrant charges and a review by the conduct review body.  While an investigation occurs, interim measures may be implemented by the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee) as outlined further in this section.

Investigations are conducted through Public Safety and follow internal departmental procedures.

It is at the discretion of the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee) to determine whether or not information provided through the investigation is sufficient to warrant either a formal review by a conduct review body or an informal resolution.  Typically, complainant(s) will be notified of the conclusion of the investigation and a resolution to the complaint, but may not be informed of the outcome before a conduct review body and/or the resulting sanctions, if applicable, except in the case of alleged sexual violence cases.

Conduct Review Procedures
The following guidelines outline the typical steps that the College will take to resolve an alleged violation of the Code of Conduct after the completion of an investigation, if applicable.  These procedures may be modified by the Dean of Student Success at his/her discretion.

The types of  hearings include:

Administrative Hearing: A formal meeting conducted with RCBC Conduct Officer(s) for first level / minor offenses.  The determination for Administrative Level Hearings is made by the Dean  of Student Success (or his/her designee).  Students may request a formal Code of Conduct Committee Hearing if desired.

Code of Conduct Committee Hearing: A formal hearing conducted by the Code of Conduct Chairperson and a committee made up of students, faculty and / or staff.  The Hearing is conducted with testimony from multiple individuals and is utilized for students with multiple offenses (including prior campus activity) or a charge that may lead to suspension or expulsion. The determination for a Code of Conduct Committee Hearing is made by the Dean  of Student Success (or his/her designee).

The respondent (student) will be informed, in writing, of the alleged misconduct and which areas of the Code of Conduct that the behavior violates as well as the date/time of the hearing.  The respondent will be provided adequate time to prepare for a hearing (no less than 2 business days) and informed of their rights in the process. The respondent may request a postponement within 24 business hours of the scheduled hearing.  All postponement requests will be reviewed by the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee) and a determination will be made to either postpone or hold the hearing based on the nature of the case and the reason for the request.

In matters involving sexual violence, the complainant will receive a similar notification of the charges to be considered against the respondent as well as the date/time of the hearing.

A hearing may be conducted by an individual hearing officer or the Code of Conduct Committee (CCC), determined at the discretion of the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee).

If a student has been appropriately informed of the hearing date/time and has failed to show, the College reserves the right to conduct the hearing in his/her absence.

Interim Measures

In certain circumstances, including but not limited to those involving sexual harassment and/or sexual violence, and/or when a student is involved in criminal proceedings, the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee) may, upon initial assessment, impose interim measures as a means to ensure the safety of all parties as well as the college .  Interim measures may or may not be punitive and may include a College and/or a social suspension pending assessment by way of a full investigation and/or a hearing before a conduct review body. Interim measures may be imposed to:

  1. help ensure the safety and well-being of members of the College community or preservation of College property;
  2. help ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and/or well-being;
  3. help prevent disruption or interference with the normal operations of the College

Depending on the nature of the interim measures, students may be denied access to certain buildings and/or to the campus (including classes) and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee) may determine to be appropriate.

A student may be removed, and temporarily prohibited from campus by Public Safety as a result of an incident involving possible conduct violations.  All temporary removals and prohibitions are sent to the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee) for follow up within one business day. The Dean of Student Success  (or his/her designee) is responsible for initiating contact with the involved student(s) and the faculty of the courses impacted (if necessary) to formally communicate about next steps, including possible interim measures.

Whenever interim measures are applied, a hearing convenes at the earliest possible time. The interim measures(s) may remain in effect until a final decision has been reached, including any appropriate appeals process, and/or may be modified at the discretion of the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee).

Conduct Advisors

All students are entitled to have an advisor of their choice to help guide them through the conduct review process, if requested at least 48 hours prior to a scheduled hearing and approved by the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee). An approved advisor must be a member of the RCBC community, is permitted to counsel the student before the proceedings, but is not permitted to speak on behalf of the student at the proceedings.

Prior to the hearing, the hearing officer may meet with the advisor to provide information about the Code of Conduct (including the specific charges being brought against the student and the range of sanctions that may be imposed if it is determined that a violation has occurred), and to answer any questions they may have about the proceedings. The hearing officer cannot answer questions about the incident itself or the student’s responsibility.

The advisor is permitted to meet with the respondent in advance of the hearing and to be present at the hearing and the outcome. The advisor’s role is to provide guidance to the respondent with regards to what to ask and how to act, what questions to ask, and how to prepare their case. Advisors are able to share notes with the respondent at the hearing. The complainant may also elect to have an advisor present, subject to the same parameters outlined above.

In cases involving sexual assault or harassment, the complainant and respondent are permitted to have an advisor of their choice present, including legal counsel, pursuant to the same regulations as outlined above. Cases of this nature will have a modified conduct committee with no student representatives.

Hearings

When a hearing is convened to review charges involving an alleged violation of the student Code of Conduct, the College will typically operate using the following guidelines, subject to review by the hearing officer or chair of the CCC, or the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee), if applicable.  Disciplinary hearings by the CCC shall be closed to the public and only open to the complainant, respondent, hearing officer(s), advisor(s), and witnesses, if applicable.  

  1. The hearing shall be presided over by either a hearing officer or the chairperson of the CCC. All members of said Committee may question witnesses. In the event the Chairperson is absent or is unable to act as chairperson for any reason, an acting chairperson shall be designated from the membership of said Committee by the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee).
  2. The respondent shall not be compelled to testify on his/her own behalf, but may do so upon his/her own request.
  3. All testimony must reflect an honest and authentic recollection. Any identified false testimony may result in additional charges.
  4. The hearing shall be recorded. In the event of an appeal, the video will be made available for review.
  5. All relevant evidence will be provided by the hearing officer or chairperson of the CCC. Evidence deemed repetitious, unduly prejudicial, irrelevant, or likely to cause confusion, may be excluded at the discretion of the aforementioned hearing officer or chairperson. Evidence not within the personal knowledge of a witness, or not within that witness’s experience or training if such be material to the testimony, may be excluded. Rule of privilege recognized by law or by the New Jersey Rules of Evidence shall apply to the extent permitted by the context and similarity of circumstances. Hearsay evidence shall be admitted, and shall be given whatever weight the Committee deems appropriate considering its nature and reliability.
  6. The complainant and respondent will be permitted to submit questions in advance but may be restricted from asking questions directly to one another based on the nature of the situation and in all matters of sexual violence.
  7. The complainant and respondent both have the opportunity to present witnesses.  Any witnesses must be identified to the Dean of Student Success  (or his/her designee) at least 24 hours before scheduled hearing.
  8. The complainant and respondent may present a closing argument or statement to the hearing officer of the CCC.
  9. Immediately after the hearing, the hearing officer or the CCC shall meet, in private, to determine whether, based on the preponderance of evidence standard, the information presented indicates if the respondent is responsible for the alleged charge(s).  If there are extenuating circumstances, the hearing officer or the CCC may take more time to deliberate and inform the respondent (and the complainant in matters of sexual violence) of the outcome of the case.
  10. Said decision shall be by simple majority vote.
  11. The Chairperson shall promptly announce the decision of the Committee. A written report of this decision, along with the stated disciplinary measures, if applicable, shall be forwarded to the Dean of Student Success.
  12. Decisions made by the hearing officer or the CCC are final, pending the normal appeal process.
  13. Outcomes of any type of hearing within the RCBC process will be joined with any subsequent allegations of code of conduct violations and considered by the hearing officer or CCC in the sanctioning phase.
Sanctions

One or more of the following disciplinary measures may be imposed upon students found to have violated this Code or any of the policies listed in section B (above).

  1. Expulsion. Permanent dismissal from the college.
  2. Suspension. Separation from the college for a specified period of time.
  3. Disciplinary probation. Loss of participation in extracurricular activities, athletics, and/or holding of office in student organizations, for specified time period.
  4. Restitution. The obligation to replace, or pay for property damaged, or to compensate for losses incurred, as a result of the violation.
  5. Loss of privileges. Temporary revocation of such privileges as driving on campus, use of the cafeteria, library borrowing privileges, ability to take in person classes, etc.
  6. Warning. A written notice to the student that he or she is violating or has violated the Student Code of Conduct.
  7. Conflict mediation (Please note that mediations are not applicable in cases involving sexual harassment and/or assault/violence)
  8. Referral to support services/educational programs
  9. Community Service: Service to the college or other related discretionary assignments
  10. Probation – Defined as the middle status between good standing and suspension. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating the Student Code of Conduct during the probationary period;
  11. Educational Assignments – Additional activities as assigned by the hearing officer with an educational outcome or goal that relates to the violation.

 

Range of Sanctions
The list of sanctions in this section are not absolute but provide a broad range of possible sanctions that could be applied to the resolution of a matter, at the discretion of the hearing officer or CCC.  More than one of the above sanctions listed may be imposed for any single violation.

In recognition that no two circumstances are identical, the college provides tables that outline guidelines for sanctions for standard violations. Actual sanctions may vary based on the situation and nature of the infraction and the context of the circumstances as presented during the hearing.

Appeals
  1. Any student found to be in violation of this Code under the foregoing procedures may appeal the decision of the hearing officer or the Code of Conduct Committee directly to the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success (VPEMSS). An appeal shall stay implementation of sanctions, but shall not permit a student removed from campus to return.
  2. In cases of sexual violence, either the complainant or respondent can appeal.  In all other matters, only the respondent can appeal.
  3. The notice of appeal must be received, in writing, at the office of the VPEMSS within five (5) college working days of the date of the decision.
  4. A copy of the notice of appeal must be filed with the Chairperson of the Code of Conduct Committee.
  5. After a notice of appeal has been filed, a digital copy of the hearing shall be prepared as soon as practical and shall be forwarded to the VPEMSS by the Dean of Student Success (or his/her designee).
  6. The VPEMSS (or his/her designee), within ten college working days of receiving the notice of appeal, shall either affirm, reverse, or modify the decision and/or sanction(s) imposed by the code of conduct committee.
  7. The VPEMSS’ (or his/her designee) written decision shall be forwarded to the respondent, Dean of Student Success, and the hearing officer or the Chairperson of the Code of Conduct Committee.  In matters of sexual violence, the complainant will also be notified. The VPEMSS’ (or his/her designee) written decision shall include his/her reasons for arriving at said decision. Said decision shall not be subject to additional review.  Judgments not overturned on appeal shall remain part of the student’s active file for the duration of his or her matriculation at RCBC.