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Student Code of Conduct

Updated 7/22/2014

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with their respective positions within the academic community, and comply with the directions of faculty and staff members who are acting in the performance of their duties. In particular, students are expected to refrain from conduct that threatens or endangers the health, safety and welfare of their community. This includes:

CONDUCT THAT THREATENS OR ENDANGERS HEALTH OR SAFETY

  • Physical abuse of any person, including, but not limited to, sexual misconduct, rape, criminal sexual acts, forcible touching, sexual abuse, and aggravated sexual abuse;
  • Threatening or intimidating a person, either verbally, in writing, or through electronic or other means;
  • Theft or damage to personal property; theft or damage to college property and buildings;
  • Unauthorized or improper use of, or entry into, college facilities;
  • Possession, consumption, sale, distribution, or use of illicit drugs or alcohol;
  • Obstruction or disruption of college activities;
  • Disruptive behavior in the classroom or on college property;

ELECTRONIC DEVICES

The college restricts the use of personal technology devices on campus. Cellular phones, digital cameras, iPods, video cameras, pagers, and other electronic devices shall not be used without authorization or in a manner that causes disruption in the classroom, library, or any college-owned or college-operated facility. This includes abuse of cellular devices with photographic capability. Utilizing these devices for the purposes of photographing test questions, class work, or projects, or for other forms of academic misconduct or illegal activity is prohibited, as is photographing or videotaping individuals in secured areas such as restrooms or locker rooms. Taking photographs or videos of any individuals against their will is strictly prohibited.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES

Eating and drinking are permitted in designated areas only and are prohibited in classrooms.

HAZING

Hazing is prohibited by the Penal Law, New York State Law as well as the general regulations of the Fashion Institute of Technology, which complies with New York State Law. Chapter 676 (Laws of 1980) of Section 6450 and Article 129-A of the New York State Education Law prohibits any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health or involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization. The penalties for violations of such rules and regulations in the case of a student will result in appropriate disciplinary actions, including suspension or expulsion from the college. When an organization is found in violation of hazing, penalties will include rescinding permission for that organization to operate on campus property.

A copy of such rules and regulations, which prohibit hazing will be given to all students enrolled in FIT and will be deemed to be part of the bylaws of all organizations operating on the FIT campus. FIT will review such bylaws annually with individuals affiliated with such organizations.

A person is guilty of hazing when, in the course of another personís initiation into or affiliation with any organization, he/she intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which endangers the physical health of a student   or a third person, and as a result causes such injury. Hazing is a Class A misdemeanor.

ID CARD POLICY/UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS ON CAMPUS

Students must present a valid FIT ID card to enter campus buildings. A person is guilty of loitering and trespassing when he or she remains in or about a building without written permission to do so or with no legitimate reason for being there.

MISREPRESENTATION

The college requires that each student act with integrity in academic activities. Lying, dishonesty, or materially misrepresenting information to any college official, faculty member, or officeóincluding members of Securityóis strictly prohibited. Lying, misrepresentation, or furnishing false information that inhibits or interferes with an official college investigation or hearing will be considered a serious offense.

ON-CAMPUS DEMONSTRATION OR PROTEST

Students shall not engage in disruptive activities while on the college campus or property. All demonstrations/protests must be registered and scheduled with Student Life. Designated locations and times will be authorized by the department to avoid disruption to the college. Although FIT supports studentsí rights to dissent peacefully, any form of on-campus protesting that violates the laws of the City or State of New York or prevents the college from performing its function as an educational institution will not be tolerated.

PETS

Pets are not permitted inside college buildings.

SKATES, BICYCLES, AND SKATEBOARDS

Skating, bicycling, and skateboarding are not permitted inside college buildings.

STEALING

Anyone who steals on campus will be subject to college discipline.

UNAUTHORIZED USE OF COLLEGE NAME

Unauthorized use of the college name and logo in connection with off-campus organizations is prohibited.

WEAPONS

All firearms and/or weapons, including firecrackers, are prohibited on campus, including dormitories.

Judicial Procedures

FIT has an obligation to uphold the laws of the larger community of which it is a part. While the activities covered by the laws of the larger community and those covered by FITís rules operate independently, they do not substitute for or replace each other. FIT may pursue enforcement of its own rules whether or not legal proceedings are under way or in progress.

All infractions of the Student Code of Conduct are handled by the Dean of Students or designated administrative authority. A hold may be placed on a studentís record during an investigation and/or prior to an informal hearing. The hold will be removed promptly after the completion of disciplinary sanctions or informal meetings in cases in which no disciplinary sanctions are imposed.

The Dean of Students may initiate disciplinary proceedings or receive charges. All charges are to be put in writing by the individual(s) pressing charges. Upon receipt of the charges, the dean or designee will notify the student(s) charged and the individual(s) pressing the charges stating the nature, time, and place of the violation charged. In addition, the place and time or arrangements for scheduling of a preliminary meeting with the dean or appointee are to be included. A student called to a meeting by the dean or designee must attend. At this preliminary meeting with the dean or designee, the student(s) have an opportunity to present a case, any witnesses, or pertinent evidence. Either party (the student(s) charged or individual(s) pressing the charges) may have counsel present with five (5) business days advance notice to the other party. The dean may then impose disciplinary sanctions.

JUDICIAL COUNCIL PROCEDURES

If the Dean of Students sees justification for suspension or expulsion, a formal hearing before the Judicial Council of the Student Affairs Committee will be scheduled. Pending this hearing, the dean may temporarily suspend the student(s). However, student(s) should not be suspended prior to a hearing unless there is imminent danger involved. If a formal hearing is to take place, the dean must notify the Student Affairs Committee of the charges in writing. The Student Affairs Committee will notify the student(s) in writing of the time and place of the formal meeting (including Judicial Council hearing procedures). In cases where the Judicial Council cannot be convened because of a break in the academic calendar, the case will be held until the first available meeting of the Student Affairs Committee during the next semester.

The Student Affairs Committee shall appoint a Judicial Council made up of three faculty members and three students from the Student Affairs Committee, and the chairperson of the Student Affairs Committee, who shall serve as chairperson of the Judicial Council. There shall also be one ad hoc non-voting member approved by and on the Judicial Council to be determined case by case, as needed.

The hearing will be closed, and release of records will conform to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines. The Judicial Council may consider a case against a student while charges for the same or associated acts are pending in city, state, or federal courts. In addition, the hearing can be held even if charged student does not show. The student(s) has the right to: present witnesses; cross-examine witnesses; submit any pertinent evidence on his or her behalf, in writing or verbally; and have legal counsel present as an observer. A list of witnesses, any written evidence, and whether or not the studentís attorney will be present must be submitted in writing to the committee five (5) business days before the scheduled hearing.

The Judicial Council will make and retain a record of the hearing. After all presentations are complete, the council will deliberate and arrive at a decision. The Judicial Council may uphold or dismiss the charges and/or impose disciplinary sanctions, case by case, as listed on the following page.

The decision must be reached by a 2/3 vote of the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council will promptly send the student(s) charged a written copy of the final decision.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Administrative sanctions for violations in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct include, but are not limited to:

ADMONITION

An admonition is a verbal warning that a studentís conduct is improper or violates the collegeís rules or regulations, coupled with a direction to cease and desist.

REPRIMAND

This is a formal written notice that the student has engaged in improper conduct and warning that subsequent violations may result in more severe disciplinary action.

RESTITUTION

The college may require reimbursement by transfer of property, money, or services to FIT or member of the FIT community in an amount not in excess of the damage or loss incurred.

FINE

The college may assess a monetary amount as a penalty for improper conduct or violation of college rules and regulations. Fines for specific violations are enumerated in applicable college publications (i.e. catalogs or student and resident handbooks).

EDUCATIONAL SANCTION

Educational Sanctions are meant to help students learn from their mistakes. The authorized FIT officer may require that the student perform community service or participate in a project or activity, either within or outside the college, during a period and in a manner consistent with the nature and severity of the violation(s).

RESTRICTION OR REVOCATION OF PRIVILEGES

A student given this sanction may have his/her privileges associated with membership or participation in the college community altered limited or revoked for a specified or indefinite period of time. Examples of such privileges include, but are not limited to: entering college property or facilities; use of or participation in programs, activities, events, and services on or off campus; membership, election to, or holding office in a club, organization, or society; representing the college on a committee or in a program or activity; visitation by guests; participation in recreational, intramural, or varsity athletic programs; and use of college technology resources.

SUSPENSION

A suspended student will be temporarily deprived of all rights and privileges normally accorded an enrolled student. The student while suspended may be separated from a residence, class or classes, and/or college facilities or premises and have his/her rights and privileges revoked for a specified period. Conditions may be placed on the studentís return. A notation of suspension on the studentís academic record will occur if the student is separated from the campus. A student may be suspended from his or her residence and not from FIT.

EXPULSION

This is the most severe form of disciplinary action. An expelled student may not return to residence and/or the college. The student is permanently separated and loses all rights and privileges associated with membership in the college community. Annotation of expulsion on the studentís academic record will occur.

Involuntary Leave of Absence

FIT offers a wide range of services to support and address the mental and physical health needs of students who are in a crisis situation. These services include assessment, short-term care as appropriate, and referrals. Under some circumstances, a student (whose psychiatric, psychological, or other medical condition causes him or her to pose a threat to the community or causes the student to significantly disrupt the educational activities of the FIT community) may be required to take a leave of absence from FIT.

When those circumstances occur, the student will first be given the opportunity to take a voluntary leave. If the student declines to take a voluntary leave, the college may determine that the studentís health and welfare, or the needs of the community, require the student to take a leave of absence involuntarily. Annotation of leave on the studentís academic record will occur.

The following policy establishes the protocol under which an involuntary leave of absence may occur and the process for return from leave.

INVOLUNTARY LEAVE PROCESS

When the Dean of Students is informed that a student exhibits any of the behaviors described above, the Office of the Dean will seek an immediate assessment of the studentís psychological, psychiatric, or other medical condition from the Counseling Center, Health Services Office, or other appropriate professionals regarding the studentís circumstances. When reasonably practicable, the student will be given the opportunity to confer with the dean or designee and to provide additional information for consideration.

Based upon the information reasonably available, including the circumstances of the studentís condition, the Dean of Students may take any of the following actions: (a) the student remains enrolled with no conditions; (b) the student remains enrolled subject to conditions that the dean or designee will describe in writing. The dean or designee shall also, in the same writing, inform the student of the effective date on which the conditions must be met and, if appropriate, the date on which the conditions will no longer be imposed; or (c) the student be placed on an involuntary leave of absence. If the dean requires the student to take an involuntary leave of absence, the dean will issue a written determination indicating the length of leave and, in consultation with the studentís program, describe the conditions (if any) under which the student may seek to return from leave. The student shall be informed promptly in writing of the decision, the effective date of the leave, and conditions for return (if applicable). The studentís academic dean will also be notified in writing of this action.

PROCESS FOR RETURN FROM INVOLUNTARY LEAVE

A student seeking a return from leave must apply for permission in writing to the Dean of Students Before a student may return, the FIT Counseling Center or Student Health Services must make a determination about the studentís safety and readiness to return, plus conditions that will support the studentís success. Once a student receives this clearance, he/she must complete the re-application process through the Office of Admissions.

APPEALS

The student(s) may appeal decisions in the following manner: 

  • For Academic Integrity Appeals and Grade Appeals Procedures: see the description of these processes in the Academic Honor Code
  • Judicial decisions by the Dean of Students or designee: the student(s) may appeal a decision of the dean or designee to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success. The appeal must be in writing and made within ten (10) business days of the date of the decision. The decision of the vice president is final.
  • Judicial Council decisions: the student(s) may appeal the Judicial Council decision to the president of FIT or his/her designee within seven (7) business days by submitting a written request that the president review the record of the hearing and the decision.
  • A student, who admits guilt, and agreement of any sanction through the judicial process, also agrees not to appeal.
  • Involuntary Leave of Absence: a student may appeal an involuntary leave of absence to the president of FIT or his/her designee. The appeal must be in writing and made within ten (10) business days of the date of the decision. 

CONFIDENTIALITY

The college complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). All records concerning disciplinary meetings, judicial council hearings, or involuntary leaves of absence will be kept in accordance with FERPA as well as with the collegeís confidentiality policy and other applicable policies.

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