Crest for Policies

Policy N5
Policy Name: Student Code of Conduct
Responsibility for Maintenance: Student Engagement & Learning Support; Campus Safety & Security

Date of most recent changes: June 19, 2018

I. Policy Statement

Onondaga Community College has adopted Core Values that guide the choices of students and other members of the College community.  These Core Values similarly guide the implementation of the College’s policies and procedures related to student behavior.  These Core Values are:

  • Students First – Keep students at the center of all we do.
  • Learning – Embrace the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and free expression of ideas in a safe environment to advance the individual and the community.
  • Excellence – Strive for continual improvement and innovation to seek our highest potential.
  • Diversity – Enrich learning through an inclusive campus environment that respects human dignity and difference.
  • Community – Foster active and productive participation in building a mutually supportive environment for members of the campus and broader communities.
  • Responsibility – Build a culture of integrity and accountability to develop both self and others.

The Student Code of Conduct is a statement of expectations for students’ behaviors as members of the College community. Students are expected to comply with all federal, state and local laws and all policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and directives of Onondaga Community College and/or its affiliated organizations, including but not limited to those policies set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, the College’s Centralized Policy Manual, the Keys to Residence Hall Living, and the College Catalog.

II. Reason for Policy

College is fundamentally about learning—both inside and outside the classroom.  This learning includes developing the skills to live successfully in a diverse community.  When a student’s behavior is alleged to fall short of expectations, that student will receive a fundamentally fair opportunity to be heard through the College’s Conduct process and, if appropriate, receive a response, including appropriate sanctions, that educates and protects the involved individuals and the broader community consistent with the College’s Core Values.

III. Applicability of the Policy

All members of the College community should be familiar with this policy. The policy governs student behavior that occurs:  on campus; at any site owned, operated, or controlled by the College; at any location while the student is participating in a College-related activity; and, at any location where the student’s behavior impacts the mission and well-being of the College community.  Students are subject to the Student Code of Conduct and related policies from the time of initial enrollment through the actual awarding of a degree.

IV. Related Materials

  • Onondaga Community College Website
  • Onondaga Community College Centralized Policy Manual
  • Residence Life Keys to Residence Hall Living Handbook
  • Student Conduct Procedures
  • Students’ Legal Rights in Conduct Proceedings
  • College Catalog
  • NYS Education Law, Articles 129-A and 129-B
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, and accompanying regulations of the U.S. Department of Education (collectively, “FERPA”)

V. Contacts


Subject Office Name Title or Position Telephone Number Email/URL
Questions Regarding Student Conduct Student Conduct and Community Standards Director of Residence Life & Student Conduct (315) 498-2446
Questions Regarding Student Conduct Student Conduct and Community Standards Coordinator (315) 498-2444  
Questions Regarding Student Conduct Student Engagement and Learning Support Associate Vice President (315) 498-2119
Reporting Alleged Violations Campus Safety and Security Director  (315) 498-2478

VI. Definitions

Term Definition
Bias Bias is behavior which constitutes an expression of hostility, including but not limited to verbal or physical acts against the person or property of another that is based on the targeted person's actual or perceived age, creed, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, political or social affiliation, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Affirmative Consent Affirmative Consent: Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.  Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual cannot otherwise consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants maybe be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.

Domestic Violence


Dating Violence




Sexual Violence


Domestic Violence: Under New York law domestic violence is an act which would constitute a violation of the penal law, including, but not limited to: disorderly conduct, harassment, aggravated harassment, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse, stalking, criminal mischief, menacing, reckless endangerment, kidnapping, assault, attempted murder, criminal obstruction or breaching of blood circulation, or strangulation; creates a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to a person or a person’s child; and, is committed by a family member. The victim can be anyone over the age of sixteen, any married person, or any parent accompanied by his or her minor child or children in situations in which such person or such person’s child is a victim of the act.

Dating Violence: New York law does not specifically define “dating violence.” However, under New York law, intimate relationships are covered by the definition of domestic violence when the act constitutes a listed crime and is committed by a person in an “intimate relationship” with the victim. See “Family or Household Member” for definition of “intimate relationship.”

Sexual Assault: The term “sexual assault” is not used in the New York State penal code. Instead, NYS law uses the terms “rape,” “fondling,” “incest,” and “statutory rape,” which meet the federal definition of sexual assault as used in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting program.

Stalking: Occurs when one person engages in a course of conduct which is directed at a specific person and that course of conduct causes that person to be in fear of harm to himself or herself, property, a member of his/her immediate family, or an acquaintance. Cyber stalking is a form of stalking which can include, but is not limited to, phone, text, IM, Facebook, and other electronic means.

    Hazing   An intentional or reckless act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are violations of College Policy.
Student Includes all persons enrolled in or auditing courses, either full-time or part-time, from the time of initial enrollment through the actual awarding of a degree, including the time before classes begin, during the academic year, after classes end, and during periods between terms of actual enrollment.
Vendors/Contractors Includes but is not limited to the bookstore, campus catering and food service, vending, and other persons in or on campus with the permission of the College for the purpose of providing goods and/or services.

VII. Students’ Bill of Rights

All students have the right to:

  1. Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police;
  2. Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault treated seriously;
  3. Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the judicial or conduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressure from the institution;
  4. Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard;
  5. Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available;
  6. Be free from any suggestion that the reporting individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations;
  7. Describe the incident to as few institution representatives as practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;
  8. Be protected from retaliation by the institution, any student, the accuse and/or the respondent, and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the institution;
  9. Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination;
  10. Be accompanied by and advisor of choice who may assist and advise a reporting individual, accused, or respondent throughout the judicial or conduct process including during all meetings and hearings related to such process; and
  11. Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice, or judicial or conduct process of the institution.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the College’s ability to provide amnesty in additional circumstances.

VIII. General Provisions

Students are members of the College community and are expected to act responsibly and avoid interference with the rights, comfort or safety of other members of the College community. The following behaviors, and attempts thereof, are prohibited.  Violations may lead to disciplinary and/or educational sanctions.  Behaviors that may be addressed by this policy include, but are not limited to, acts committed in person, through third-parties, and via electronic means.  Sanctions may be enhanced for violations of the Student Conduct of Conduct that are found to have been motivated by bias.  In addition, failure to complete an assigned sanction will result in further action, including potential loss of campus privileges, up to an including residential or student status.

A. Prohibited Behavior

1. Behavior that threatens or endangers the physical health or safety of any person, including physical assault, physical abuse, sexual violence, domestic violence, relationship violence, and other forms of physical harm.

2. Behavior that threatens or endangers the emotional health or safety of any person, including behaviors that threaten, intimidate, coerce, haze, or bully.

3. Possession of prohibited weapons.

4. The health and safety of every student at Onondaga Community College is of utmost importance. The College recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurs may be hesitant to repost such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. The College strongly encourages students to report domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to institution officials. A bystander acting in good faith or reporting individual acting in good faith that discloses any incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault to College officials or law enforcement will not be subject to the College’s code of conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies occurring at or near the time of the commission of the domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Illegal drugs and alcohol are prohibited on campus, except that alcohol may be served at events where the sale and service of alcohol is conducted by the College, an affiliated organization, or an approved contractor/vendor in accordance with New York State Law. Prohibited behaviors involving alcohol include, but are not limited to:  use, sale, distribution, and possession; use, display or possession of any paraphernalia associated with alcohol; use of alcohol that leads to impairment and disorderly, destructive, or violent behavior to self or others; and, students under the age of 21 being in the presence of alcohol in the residence halls. Prohibited behaviors involving drugs, controlled substances, related synthetic materials, and related paraphernalia (including altered or constructed devices used to conceal or consume) include, but are not limited to:  use, possession, display, distribution, sale, and being under the influence. Prohibited behaviors involving look-alike drugs include, but are not limited to: possession, consumption, distribution, use, and forcing another to ingest “imitation drugs” or synthetic materials that are either not intended for human consumption or used to produce effects similar to an illegal drug or a substance or drug being used for an unintended purpose (e.g., synthetic cannabis, herbal incense, and or herbal smoking blends, Whip-it and other similar products).

5. Theft of property or services owned by any party; knowingly purchasing or possessing stolen property or services; deliberate damage to or destruction of the property or services of any party.

6. Physically restraining or detaining another person or forcibly removing a person from a place where he or she has a right to remain.

7. Entering into or remaining in a space belonging to the College or another person without permission.

8. Harassment: behavior in any form, including via electronic media, which is beyond the bounds of protected free speech, directed at a specific individual(s), easily construed as “fighting words,” and likely to cause an immediate breach of the peace.

9. Sexual violence, domestic or dating violence, sexual harassment, and stalking, and any sexual act perpetrated against a person’s will or where the person is incapable of giving affirmative consent.  See Policy D6 Sexual Violence Prevention and Response.

10. Obscene behavior, which includes, but is not limited to: indecent exposure or the display of sexual or lewd behavior that reasonably would be offensive to others.

11. Disorderly conduct, including, but not limited to:  gambling, littering, and engaging in behavior that disrupts, obstructs, or impedes the ordinary functions of the College, including classrooms, student conduct investigations or hearings, or other College activities.  Students are permitted to engage in peaceful activities consistent with Policy D10 Free Speech and Public Assembly.

12. Academic Dishonesty in any form.  See Academic Rules for definition and procedures relating to academic dishonesty.

13. Residential Living Violations- Residential Policies reflect the rights of all residence hall students to be afforded a reasonable opportunity to learn without interruptions from others; to be respected by others, including respect for your need for space, quiet, and privacy; and, to expect others to observe reasonable standards of conduct that promote and maintain a safe, secure, and mature living environment. Residential Policies further reflect the responsibility of all residence hall students and their guests to recognize and support other students' rights and to align their behavior with Office of Residence Life Departmental Standards and the Student Code of Conduct.

14. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College or official document, record, or instrument of identification (e.g., driver’s licenses and passports); tampering with the election process of any College-recognized student organization; furnishing false information to any College office or employee, including, but not limited to, misrepresentation of identity and making a knowingly false report of any crime, policy violation, or other incident.

15. Failure to comply with a lawful directive of any authorized College or affiliated organization official or employee acting in the performance of his or her duties, including failure to present College identification when requested.

16. Creating or contributing to a fire; failing to comply with fire drill, fire alarm and/or emergency evacuations or procedures; or tampering with or damaging fire safety equipment, such as:  fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire alarms, and sprinkler systems.

17. Violation of any federal state, or local law or regulation, whether or not formal charges have been filed.*

* Proceedings under this policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus at the discretion of the College.  Determinations made or sanctions imposed under this policy shall not be subject to change because a different result was reached in another forum. For allegations of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual activity that may otherwise violate this Code of Conduct, the proceedings shall run concurrently with any criminal justice investigation and proceeding, except for temporary delays as requested by external municipal entities while law enforcement gathers evidence. Temporary delays should not last more than ten (10) days except when law enforcement specifically requires and justifies a longer delay.

18.  Violation of any policy, procedure, rule, regulation or directive of the College or any of its affiliated organizations, including, but not limited to,  

**See Centralized Policy Manual available online at

B.  Statement on Self-Reporting and Bystander Intervention (Good Samaritan)

Onondaga Community College students are expected to be aware of their health and safety and encouraged to help fellow students when their health and safety is in danger. When a person’s health or safety is threatened due to consumption of alcohol, unlawful drugs, controlled substances and/or synthetic materials, or for other reasons, immediate action should be taken. This could include alerting medical personnel, Campus Safety and Security, or an appropriate college official.

In all cases, the incident will be documented. When determining the appropriate response in the conduct process, Student Conduct will consider actions taken by any student who seeks assistance on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another student experiencing a medical emergency related to consumption of alcohol, unlawful drugs, controlled substances and/or other synthetic materials. In some cases College disciplinary sanctions may be reduced.  This practice does not preclude action by Campus Safety and Security or other legal authorities.  Refer to Policy D6, Alcohol and Other Drug Use Amnesty, for more information.

C. Questions

Any questions regarding interpretation or application of this policy should be referred to the Senior Vice President of Student Engagement and Learning Support, or his or her designee, for final determination. Onondaga Community College reserves the right to interpret or construe any uncertain or disputed term of the policy.

Approved by OCC Board of Trustees June 5, 2007

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees September 23, 2008

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 1, 2010

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees May 3, 2011

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 18, 2013

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 17, 2014

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 16, 2015

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 21, 2016

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 20, 2017

Updated and approved by the OCC Board of Trustees June 19, 2018